Damac Properties has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Iraq Ministry for Construction and Housing on the final day of Cityscape Global 2012.
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.
The agreement 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.
Mohammad Al Darraji, Iraqi Minister of Construction and Housing, met with Damac Properties Chairman Hussain Sajwani at the Damac Properties stand at Cityscape Global and signed an agreement which will allow Damac Properties to further expand its operations in Iraq.
Speaking earlier to delegates at the Cityscape conference, 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 added: “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 currently has 65 buildings currently at various stages of construction in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The company has already completed 37 buildings throughout the Middle East and North Africa, with the latest project, Marina Bay in Abu Dhabi receiving its handover certificate only last month.
“Damac Properties is continually looking for the right opportunities to bring the luxury living brand to other parts of the world,” said Mr. 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.”
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.
Damac Properties has been showcasing its hotel serviced apartments offering during this year’s show with the Damac Suites & Spa brand. The company is taking a leadership role in the sector and announced it would have 4,000 serviced apartments under development or its management by the end of next year.
The first project to come online will be in the Burj Area by the middle of 2013.
Damac Properties was established in 2002, as a private residential, leisure and commercial developer in Dubai and the Middle East. Since then, Damac Properties has expanded rapidly into North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Damac Properties has completed 37 buildings to date with 7817 units and spanning 13,945,299 sq feet.
Damac Properties also has a further 65 buildings at various stages of progress across the Middle East, North Africa region. These consist of 11,998 units spanning over 23,000,000.00 sq feet.
In June 2010, Damac Properties further reinforced its position as the regions premium developer with the launch of Damac Tower in Beirut, Lebanon. A 28 storey iconic tower, this project is in association with Italian design group, VERSACE, with all interiors being designed by Versace Home. This was followed by the Damac Residences with Interiors by Versace Home, launched in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June 2011.