Emaar opens office in China
Global real estate major Emaar Properties has marked a milestone in its international expansion program by being the first Middle East property developer to open a full-fledged office in China.
Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, who returned from China on Friday, said the office in the Jiushi office building in Shanghai will open end-July. The office will steer Emaar’s ambitious investment plans for the world’s second largest economy.
Emaar’s multi-pronged approach to tap into the Chinese economy, which gained a 9.9 per cent growth in 2005, will flag off with the development of modern, community-centric lifestyle developments in Beijing and Shanghai. These residential projects will feature the entire spectrum of amenities including fitness centers, retail malls, schools as well as hotels.
“Emaar’s entry into China completes a strategic leg of our international expansion programme that focused on three booming markets – the Middle East, the India Subcontinent and now China,” said Mr Alabbar. “Following its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and market reforms gaining pace, the Chinese economy has been growing at an impressive rate. Its contribution to the global GDP growth is more than that of America as well as that of the three next-largest emerging economies – India, Brazil and Russia. Underpinning this growth momentum is the property sector.”
Beijing and Shanghai are two focal points for Emaar’s entry into this mega market. In particular, Beijing will be the venue for the 2008 Olympics and Shanghai will host the 2010 World Expo. Apart from Beijing and Shanghai, Emaar is also looking at other growing cities in the country for more real estate development projects. The company will also look at strategic investments in healthcare and education.
World-over, experts are focusing on China as one of the most attractive economies for foreign investment. Over the years, China has attracted the lion’s share of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Asia-Pacific region; 2005 saw the highest level of FDI inflow of AED 264 billion (US$72 billion). The world’s largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, China’s economy is expected to grow by 10 per cent in the second quarter and full year 2006.
“China’s growth prospects are not for the short-term,” said Mr Alabbar. “The growth is backed by strong fundamentals and a high pool of skilled workforce. Emaar’s expansion into China follows extensive market research and is in line with our Vision 2010 of becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world in the next four years.”
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report for China observes that “government policies have moved markedly towards allowing market forces to influence economic activity. The policy changes have allowed a much increased role for the private sector and substantial foreign investment.”
Emaar has already made rapid strides internationally with the acquisition of America’s “best builder” John Laing Homes for AED 3.856 billion (US$1.050 billion), a strategic move that has firmly perched Emaar in the international spotlight. This complements a string of development projects in Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Tunisia.