Bloom Properties, the property development arm of Abu Dhabi-based National Holding, has signed a contract with the Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC) for the development of 50 per cent of the ‘City of the Future - Madinat Al Mustaqbal’ in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The approximately 2.5 million sq m mixed-use community will take shape about 14.5 km from the Baghdad city centre. Following the approval of the design conceptualised by Bloom, ‘Madinat Al Mustaqbal’ will be developed in a phased manner over a period of six years. The contract between Bloom Properties and NIC was signed by Dr Sami Al Araji, chairman of NIC, and Simon Azzam, CEO of Bloom Properties at a ceremony held under the patronage and presence of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki in Baghdad. It was attended by senior officials, politicians, industry players and businessmen including Abdullah Al-Shihy, UAE Ambassador to Iraq. Dr Al Araji said: “The contract signals our commitment to establishing world-class projects in the country as part of efforts to raise the standard of living of our citizens. Located on the outskirts of Baghdad, ‘City of the Future - Madinat Al Mustaqabal’  will undoubtedly serve as an exemplary urban city model. “Bloom has proved its strategic interest in Iraq while the team’s dedication has contributed to building our confidence in the company’s calibre. We are assured that, upon completion, the project will surpass our expectations.” The development has been conceptualised to host 15,000 residential units including 2,500 townhouses and villas as per the current master plan. It will also feature mosques, sports and social clubs, gardens and green landscapes, retail facilities, kids’ nurseries and international schools and clinics, as well as public amenities such as police station, municipal office, post office and a civil defence centre. In March this year, Bloom Properties laid the foundation stone for the 20-square kilometre development ‘Shores of Karbala’ that is being developed in conjunction with the NIC and the Governorate of Karbala along the banks of Lake Razaza.