Reports published by real estate experts in Lebanon estimated the share of Gulf investments in the country by 20% of all real estate operations, i.e. $500 million annually, Al-Ayyam, on October 11.
Head of information committee in the Lebanese Appraisers Association, Sheryl Qarqamaz, clarified that Gulf real estate investments increased significantly between 2000 and 2004 by approximately 300%. Gulf real estate investments reached $1.35 billion during the past period, and they were directed to purchase of land, construction of apartments or huge tourist projects, in addition to approximately $1 billion allocated to projects, which are still under construction, in Beirut and its suburbs.
Each of Beirut and Baabda occupied 35.1% of real estate buying transactions of Gulf citizens in Lebanon, while Aley's share decreased to 17% and Al-Matn and Kasrawan to 4%.
The lands purchased by Gulf citizens in Lebanon through the last four years totaled 900,000 square meters. Some 350,000 square meters out of this total belong to Emirates citizens, 250,000 square meters are owned by Kuwaiti citizens, and approximately 300,000 square meters belong to both Saudi and Qatari citizens.
Qarqamaz added that the political conditions in Lebanon since the assassination of Al-Hariri have caused a 50% decrease in the volume of Gulf investments compared to 2004, mentioning that total investments did not surpass $300 million until the end of last August.