GFH in Morocco project finance deal
Manama, April 10, 2012
Royal Ranches Marrakech, a flagship project of Bahrain-based bank Gulf Finance House (GFH), has inked a deal with a consortium of banks led by Banque Marocaine de Commerce Exteriur (BMCE) to receive the second tranche of funding for the project.
The MoU sees the banking consortium release the remainder of the facility’s amount as progress continues on RRM gradually, said a GFH statement.
The infrastructure works on Royal Ranches Marrakech began earlier, with 45 per cent of the infrastructure work already completed.
RRM will now focus on completing a revised time schedule for the completion of the entire necessary infrastructure work, which will be submitted to the banking consortium while working on attracting investors and developers to complete the project.
Commenting on the deal, Esam Janahi, the president of RRM and GFH chairman said, 'Morocco is seeing steady recovery of its economy, and tourism represents a major source of the national income. GFH is now seeking strategic partnerships with developers to develop RRM vertically.'
'Once completed, RRM will attract significant annual revenues for the country. We expect the projetc to positively impact the local economy, as well as the larger Moroccan economy, creating a significant number of local jobs and attracting thousands of visitors annually,' he added.
The Royal Ranches Marrakech project is set to further catalyse the burgeoning tourism market in the country once it is completed.
The development sits on a total area of approximately 380 hectares and is located in a green oasis at the foot of the Atlas Mountains.
The development comprises four districts including equestrian, residential, leisure and tourist areas.
Additionally, the development will include an equestrian school with instructors, an 18-hole golf course with spectacular views of Atlas Mountains, a 5-star hotel and 6-star boutique hotel, luxury residential units and a shopping area where winding streets will recall a traditional Moroccan souk.
Mohammed El Halaissi, the general manager of BMCE, said, "We are very pleased to be a part of this project which will contribute positively to the development of the tourism industry in Morocco which represents 10 per cent of the country’s total annual GDP."
"RRM is one of the biggest and most impactful projects in the Kingdom, and GFH’s interest to complete it indicates its trust in the sector and the country. BMCE’s involvement reflects our commitment to investments such as this one that support the people and the economy of the country," he added.
Hassan Alami, the financial advisor to RRM, said Morocco has devised a strategic plan to join the world’s top 20 holiday destinations and having a unique project such as RRM supports this initative.
"RRM is unique to other developments in the area due to its focus on Equestrian and Golf themes. At the same time, it enjoys being located on prime land, in close proximity to the city centre, as well as strategically located near to other large tourism and real estate development projects," he added.-TradeArabia News Service