Damac, Iraq ink deal to develop key projects
Dubai, October 7, 2012
UAE-based Damac Properties has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iraqi Minister for Construction and Housing towards developing key projects in Baghdad.
The region’s largest private luxury developer already has two plots of land in Baghdad that was previously bought from the private sector and is currently developing designs with the projects to be announced shortly.
Mohammad Al Darraji, Iraqi Minister of Construction and Housing, met with Damac Properties chairman Hussain Sajwani and signed an agreement which will allow Damac Properties to further expand its operations in Iraq.
The agreement signed on the final day of the recently concluded property expo Cityscape Global in Dubai will see Damac Properties provide expertise and insight for a number of residential and commercial projects in Baghdad and the surrounding region.
The MoU is the result of many months of negotiations, culminating in high-level talks, which were concluded during the exhibition.
Damac Properties has also opened a branch office in Baghdad further enforcing its commitment to developing in the country.
Al Darraji said: “Iraq has seen significant changes to regulations and the governing of economic activities. The new laws promote fresh investment and this transition will promote the rapid restructuring of our economy.”
Sajwani said: “Damac Properties is delighted to be invited to work with the Iraqi government on these forthcoming projects. This is a significant agreement which will allow us to take the Damac Properties commitment of luxury and quality to a new territory.”
“Damac Properties is continually looking for the right opportunities to bring the luxury living brand to other parts of the world,” added Sajwani.
“We are doing due diligence on a number of projects in different countries and if we believe the circumstances are right and our brand can add value to a particular country, we will seriously consider it, as we aim to become one of the leading luxury developers not just in the Middle East but the world.”
Damac already has two plots of land in Baghdad that was previously bought from the private sector and is currently developing designs with the projects to be announced shortly.
The Iraqi government has been showcasing various projects during Cityscape Global 2012 and discussing a number of private-public partnerships with potential investors.
During a speech to the conference Al Darraji said that $10.4 billion worth of construction and infrastructure projects are expected to be approved next year and that the ministry has 65 projects worth $3 billion with 60,000 units already under construction.
Iraq’s annual construction output is the highest in the region he added, with an annual growth rate of 15 per cent. – TradeArabia News Service