Emaar to develop housing projects in Iraq
Dubai, October 3, 2012
Dubai-based property developer Emaar Properties has signed an MoU with the Iraqi Ministry of Construction & Housing to jointly develop residential, commercial and tourism development projects in the country.
“Developing the housing sector and strengthening our infrastructure is one of the priority areas in our national development plan as the projected demand for new housing units is over 670,000 across the country," said Muhammed Al Darraji, Iraqi Minister of Construction & Housing, after signing the joint venture agreement on the sidelines of Cityscape Global in Dubai.
"With our economy projected to grow at 12 per cent this year, Iraq offers a strong investment platform for projects in several key sectors including housing and infrastructure development, citing World Bank data.
"Emaar has proven credentials in the development of real estate assets that also energise the economy, and we look forward to developing joint projects in the residential, commercial and tourism sectors," said the minister.
Al Darraji highlighted the investment potential offered by Iraq and urged the leading global players in the sector to explore potential partnership opportunities in the country.
Al Darraji said the projects to be developed by the ministry and Emaar jointly will be decided in due course based on the National Development Goal of Iraq, which focuses on diversifying the economy and creating new jobs.
"Currently, Iraq has allocated over $31 billion to improve the country’s housing infrastructure and address the estimated shortage of over 670,000 new residential units," he added.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the managing director of Emaar Properties, said: "We will extend our world-class expertise in developing housing and commercial projects to the Ministry to help address the growing demand for housing, office space and retail real estate in Iraq."
"These in turn will meet the goals of the Iraqi National Development Plan to create new jobs and strengthen ancillary industries. Iraq is one of the promising emerging markets in the Middle East region, and our partnership with the Ministry of Construction & Housing complements our strategic goal to expand to key international markets," he noted.
Emaar, the Gulf region's largest listed developer by market value and the developer of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building in Dubai, will undertake the construction projects that will be finalised with the Ministry, in addition to sharing its proven competencies in developing hospitality and leisure and shopping mall and retail assets.
Emaar will also draw on its new wholly-owned subsidiary Dawahi Development, which focuses on value housing projects that create jobs and support economic growth, for its partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Construction & Housing, said Al Matrooshi.
The Ministry had recently announced a new strategic plan to boost the housing sector by increasing amount allocated for housing, continuing low cost housing projects and preparing a robust investment environment for housing projects, among others.
With Iraq’s capital budget for the year nearly 35 per cent higher than last year, the government is emphasising on infrastructure projects as part of its strategy to attract foreign investment and promote all-round growth.
In addition to earmarking nearly a third of the budget for capital projects, several new legislations are being proposed to drive economic growth.
Emaar has a strong presence in the Middle East and North Africa region where the company is developing several master-planned communities in various stages of completion in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco and Jordan.-TradeArabia News Service