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Emaar energises Syrian economy with customer-centric projects
13 November 2006
Emaar energises Syrian economy with customer-centric projects
DAMASCUS - Global real estate major Emaar Properties is energising the Syrian economy through country-specific and customer-centric projects. Emaar has already unveiled Eighth Gate, a SYP26 billion (US$500 million) master-planned community development, in association with IGO, an offshore investment and property development company.
Syria is an emerging market offering great potential for growth for Emaar, a company expanding internationally in line with its Vision 2010 of becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world, said Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Managing Director, Emaar Syria. The construction and real estate market in Syria is buoyant and the Syria Economic Report estimates that construction area grew by 72.7 per cent to 11.24 million sq m in 2004 alone. Syria has also given the go-ahead to build 50,000 new flats in the coming five years, that sees an injection of SYP45 billion in the real estate sector.

On its part, Emaar is extending its successful track-record of developing master-planned communities in Dubai to Syria too. Eighth Gate is a clear example of Emaar bringing in its core competency of building master-planned communities to the country, said Mr Al Hashemi. The company has handed over more than 14,500 homes in Dubai and the same model of building a self-sustaining neighbourhood is being replicated with the Eighth Gate in Damascus.

Emaar is powering the local economy through its projects, which generate employment opportunities as well as help build ancillary service sectors around its master-planned project. Eighth Gate broke ground in June, 2006, and is expected to be completed in six years, added Mr Al Hashemi, a UAE national with proven business acumen in formulating strategic tie-ups and consolidating Emaars presence in the country. The development introduces the citys first master planned community integrating mixed-use residential, commercial and retail units, he said.

Previously Executive Director Retail and Leasing with Emaar Properties, Mr Hashemi has hands-on experience working in varied sectors across Dubais prestigious enterprises. His posting in Syria underscores the emerging trend at Emaar of UAE nationals holding premier positions internationally.

Syria is a challenging market and it is important to understand the true market pulses and stay in tune with the economic reforms currently taking place in the country, said Mr Al Hashemi. According to the Syria Economic Report, while the challenges for the country are mostly short to medium-term, Syria benefits from a lot of underutilised potential and hidden reserves that would offer in the long-term interesting growth opportunities. Already there is an enhanced participation of the private sector, which now accounts for 60 per cent of the GDP of the country.

Emaar is currently on an ambitious expansion and diversification programme and has unveiled projects in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Tunisia, India and Pakistan.

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