Australian construction and engineering giant Leighton Holdings has scored a major win as the group’s Asian subsidiary has been awarded its biggest ever contract.

In a statement, the company says its Leighton Asia, India and Offshore Group (LAIO) has entered into a $2.8 billion final agreement with Las Vagas based Wynn Resorts to design and build a luxury integrated hotel resort in Macau, the special regional administrative hub of China which acts as the world’s biggest gaming hub.

Set to cover a floor area of more than 450,000 square metres on the Cotai Strip, a significant area of reclaimed land between the islands of Taipa and Coloane, the project includes the construction of a luxury hotel and a mixed-use podium comprising gaming, dining, retail and convention facilities and numerous specialist attractions.

 According to Wynn Resorts chairman and chief executive officer Steve Wynn, the new property will adopt a floral theme with colourful floats adorning the resort and changing monthly.

He says features of the new resort – which will be the first stop on Macau’s new light-rail system connecting the Cotai ferry landing with a strip of hotels dominated by Las Vegas Sands properties – will include a front entrance lake lined with restaurants, adding that flower gardens of various themes such as hot air balloons which will be spread around the property.

Guests will be transported from the station to the hotel via an aerial tram transport system with gondolas resembling smoke-breathing dragons.

Leighton Contractors Asia Limited (part of LAIO) secured the agreement after being named preferred contractor in 2012.

The win is an important one for Leighton, which has disappointed the market in recent years amid massive cost blowouts on its Brisbane Airport Link and Victoria Desalination Plant projects and which is facing challenging conditions in its mining and construction operations in Australia as well as subdued conditions in some of its overseas markets.

LAIO managing director Ian Edwards welcomed the latest contract win.

“The exciting venture represents LAIO’s largest value contract to date,” Edwards says. “It demonstrates our ability to fully understand clients’ needs through fostering a long-term partnership approach and further endorses our solid track record and comprehensive building and project management expertise.”

Leighton chief executive officer Hamish Tyrwhitt says the company has developed a strong working relationship with Wynn Resorts over the past decade and that the contract supports Leighton’s strategy of increasing its contribution from international operations and growing its presence in a region in which it has operated for more than 40 years.

Site preparation and piling works are already well underway. The project is expected to be completed by early 2016.