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The Dead Sea beckons for Emaar Properties

Jordan: Thursday, November 16 - 2006 @ 09:36

Meanwhile, another of Dubai’s real estate operators, Damac Properties, has recently unveiled its third venture in Amman, The Courtyard, on the back of encouraging sales for its initial releases.

Dead Sea comes alive

The Dead Sea has long been one of Jordan’s main tourist draws and a significant amount of development, some of it in the form of hotels and spas, has started to spring up around it, so Emaar Jordan’s decision to locate its first real estate venture in the area is no great surprise.

The project, the cost of which has yet to be announced, is intended to encourage foreign direct investment as well as enhance other areas of the economy. Mohammed Ali Alabbar, Emaar’s Chairman, said, ‘By integrating residential, retail and leisure components, the project will not only stimulate the property market but also enhance tourist inflow and create more employment opportunities for Jordanians.’ One of the key aims of the development is to create an attractive leisure destination which will extend the average duration of tourist visits to the Dead Sea.

Steve McCartt, General Manager, Emaar Jordan is hopeful that expatriate Jordanians working in the UAE will already be familiar with the company’s brand from its various high profile Dubai ventures and so will be keen to invest in a large-scale project in their homeland. McCartt added that the mixed use development would be geared to the ‘upwardly mobile population’ both within the kingdom and abroad.

More to come?

With Jordan enjoying a very healthy level of FDI from the Gulf region, and with its economy expected to grow by six per cent this year, the country could prove to be a rich seam for Emaar which, through its Vision 2010 strategy, is determined to be one of the world’s most valuable companies inside the next four years.

The company already has numerous multi billion dollar schemes lined up in countries such as Saudi Arabia, in the form of the $26.6 billion King Abdullah Economic City, and Pakistan, where the government recently gave the thumbs up to a $43 billion resort project in Karachi. Indeed, this week, Emaar moved into yet another new territory when it signed a joint venture agreement in Libya with the Zowara-Abou Kemash Development Zone.

It would clearly be a major fillip to Jordan’s economy if Emaar Jordan was to launch further large-scale projects in the kingdom and the firm is not unaware of the country’s potential. Issam Galadari, Managing Director, Emaar International – Middle East and North Africa said, ’Jordan is a key emerging market in the Middle East and North Africa region – one of the thrust areas for Emaar’s growth. Riding a new wave of economic resurgence, Jordan offers immense potential for enterprises that synergise with local growth plans.’

The Courtyard

If Emaar Jordan requires any encouragement about launching further projects in the kingdom, then it need look no further than fellow Dubai based developer Damac Properties. After its first two projects, The Heights and The Lofts, both sold out in a matter of months, the firm has now released The Courtyard, a nine storey development offering one and two bedroom apartments plus lofts and retail outlets. Like the previous releases, The Courtyard will be located at Amman’s $1.5 billion Abdali downtown development.

Damac currently has a total of four projects worth $150 million lined up for Jordan yet, after such a strong level of interest, subsequent developments could well be in the pipeline. Jordan’s real estate sector is looking increasingly vibrant but if some of the region’s major developers get an appetite for the place, then the industry could be set for a sizeable boost.

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Thursday, November 16- 2006 @ 9:36 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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