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Al Maabar to borrow for $2bn Abu Dhabi Plaza

Abu Dhabi, November 4, 2007

Al Maabar, a joint venture of UAE developers, plans to invest $2 billion in a commercial and residential project in Kazakhstan and fund it through borrowing, a venture partner said.

'The cost of the Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana, Kazakhstan is $2 billion. It will be funded through a borrowing plan,' said Ronald Barrott, CEO of Aldar Properties.

'There will be no borrowing this year but there will be next year,' he said.

Aldar plans to build a second Ferrari theme park outside the Middle East after 2009, when a similar park in Abu Dhabi is scheduled to be ready, Barrott said.

Aldar is the developer of the project in the Kazakh capital which is to include an 88-storey tower, shops, apartments, offices and hotels and is scheduled for completion in 2012.

Aldar and fellow Abu Dhabi developers and investors Al Qudra Real Estate, Sorouh Real Estate, and Reem Investments have set up Al Maabar to carry out projects overseas.

GCC ruling families have ploughed record oil revenues into real estate projects and new industries to reduce their reliance on the energy sector but growth is slowing in many of those domestic sectors, prompting them to look overseas for new opportunities.

'Aldar and Ferrari will open another theme park after 2009. The Abu Dhabi theme park will serve a catchment area of six-seven hours flying time. So the next theme park would be beyond this region,' he said.

'We plan to open 20 Ferrari-themed retail stores in this region over the next two years.'

The first such store opened in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi's state investment arm Mubadala Development Co has a 5 per cent stake in Ferrari, the sports car maker which is majority-owned by Fiat.Reuters




Tags: Mubadala | Ferrari | Kazakhstan | Al Maabar | Fiat |

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