DAMAC Properties has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Fao General Engineering Company a subsidiary company of the Iraqi Ministry of Housing and Construction to further develop projects in Iraq.
The agreement was reached during a high-level visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad where DAMAC Executives met with the Minister of Housing and Construction along with Al Fao General Engineering Company Executives. The MoU was signed thereafter, establishing a joint venture company between DAMAC Properties and Al Fao General Engineering to begin development of the Ministry of Housing and Construction sites in the country.
It comes less than five weeks after DAMAC Properties agreed a MoU directly with the Iraqi Ministry of Housing and Construction during Cityscape Global 2012 in Dubai, to develop a number of projects in Baghdad and the surrounding region.
“This agreement formalises our relationship with the Iraqi government and is the first step in developing projects in Iraq,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties. “The joint venture with Al Fao General Engineering, a subsidiary company of the Iraqi Ministry of Housing and Construction, brings together two industry experts enabling the swift development of the country..”
During Cityscape Global last month, the Iraqi Minister of Housing and Construction, Mr. Mohammad Al Darraji said: “US$10.4 billion worth of construction and infrastructure projects are expected to be approved next year and the ministry has 65 projects worth US$3 billion with 60,000 units already under construction.”
DAMAC Properties has a long standing relationship with the Iraqi government and already owns two plots of land in Baghdad that was previously purchased from the private sector. The company is currently working on concepts and designs for these areas from its offices in Baghdad, and will introduce them in the near future.
DAMAC Properties has been developing projects in the Middle East for more than 10 years and has completed 37 buildings to date, making up 7,817 units, spanning 13,945,299 sq ft. The company currently has projects under development in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon.
“We are certainly looking to expand from our base at the moment and if the right opportunities to bring added value are presented we will look closely at them. It is our goal to become one of the leading luxury developers in the world, not only the Middle East,” added Mr. El Chaar.
Work on the Ministry of Housing and Construction projects are expected to begin early next year after a full assessment of the land and development mix has been completed.