The Royal Metropolis is a joint venture between Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House and the Kuwait Finance and Investment Company, with the Greater Amman Council a partner on the Jordan Gate part of the project. A private placement of $278 million in the Kuwait based Bayan Holding Company in July 2005 contributed some of the financing required for the development.
The Royal Metropolis is a mixed use project consisting of the Jordan Gate, the Royal Village and the 300 room Royal Resort and Spa, which will be situated on the shore of the Dead Sea. The Jordan Gate is the focus of the project’s first phase and will feature two high rise towers perched on a hill above Amman; once completed, it will, supposedly, be visible from right across the city. It will consist of offices, conference facilities, a five star hotel, to be operated by Hilton International, as well as retail outlets.
The Royal Village is the main residential segment of the scheme. Spread across 4.7 million square feet, and incorporating a number of wide open spaces, the Royal Village will offer over 1,000 homes comprising luxury villas, townhouses and apartments. The development, which is located in Marj Al-Hamam, bordering the Dead Sea highway, will also feature a shopping mall catering to both the residents of the Royal Village and those of southern Amman.
One of the main criteria of the development is that it appeals to a broad cross-section of Jordanian society, as Abdul Rahman Ali Al Saeed, the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KFIC said, ‘Our aim is to offer an eclectic mix of residential facilities to Jordanians, with the villas at the premium end of the market and the apartments targeted at young Jordanian families looking for starter homes.’
At the top end of the scale will be the Hill Villas, a low density build of just 62 homes, with dedicated amenities including a health club. The four and five bedroom Park Villas, of which there will be 117, will be aimed at large families, while the Park Townhouses and apartments have been conceived as starter homes for young, professional middle income Jordanian couples and small families.
Once the new sales office for the Royal Village opened last week, there was an encouraging response from potential investors, with the developers claiming that 30 per cent of units were sold on the very first day. GCC nationals and rich Jordanians living abroad, and seeking a base in their homeland, are a big target of the sales drive.
GFH and KFIC are hoping that the Royal Metropolis, as a whole, will encourage significant international investment across a range of sectors and will help stimulate the Jordanian economy.
But the collapse of three storeys of one of the Jordan Gate towers last week, which tragically killed two Egyptian construction workers and injured 16 more, has dealt a blow to progress and has also, for now, halted work on that part of the project. It is to be hoped that this unfortunate accident can be overcome and that the Royal Metropolis can really start to take shape in the near future.
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