An alcohol-free luxury hotel targeted at Middle Eastern visitors is under construction in central Cape Town.

The 140-room five-star facility is being built in the BoKaap district, which was first settled in the early 19th century by freed Muslim slaves of the Dutch-East Indian Trading Company and has remained faithful to its cultural and religious past.

Construction began in May and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2009 at a total cost of 200 million Rand.

The new hotel will be part of the Dubai-based Coral International luxury hotel chain, which currently boasts ten facilities in the Middle East. Facilities will include a fitness centre, meeting rooms, conference facilities, restaurants serving Halal food and prayer rooms.