The UAE developers have announced Dh16.6 billion ($4.5 billion) investment plan to build a ‘City of the Future’ in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The Dubai-based Al Handal International Group  and Abu Dhabi-based Bloom Properties signed an investment deal to develop the residential project, spreading across a surface area of 58 million square feet and can accommodate up to 150,000 people.
The mega project will create more than 10,000 jobs in the country and will be completed by 2020.
Chairman of the National Investment Commission  (NIC) Dr Sami Al Araji and vice-chairman of Handal International Group Hardan Al Handal signed the deal in Baghdad.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki to announce the launch of the project which marks a unique Emirati-Iraq partnership — the first of its kind and the largest in the history of real estate development in Iraq.
The landmark project , which will be built in phases spanning seven years, will include 30,000 residential units, five shopping centres, 18 schools and 12 kindergartens, several commercial buildings, a state-of-the-art hospital, a police and civil defence station, a mosque and as well as a health centre.
The new project, which will be built to international standards and specifications, is targeted at most slices of Iraqi society, mainly the middle-income segment.
Chairman of the NIC Dr Sami Al Araji said that the ‘City of the Future’ will become one of the most prominent modern urban residential projects in Baghdad . He emphasised that the NIC and all stakeholders in Baghdad will provide the necessary support to ensure the success of the project that would also encourage other investors to launch similar projects that would usher in a new era of real estate development and ultimately economic growth in Iraq.
“Located on the outskirts of Baghdad, ‘City of the Future — Madinat Al Mustaqabal’ will undoubtedly serve as an exemplary urban city model,” Dr Al Araji said.
The project features contemporary architecture designs of its residential buildings and 50 per cent of its total surface area is green open spaces.
“Today, we see another milestone for Bloom Properties in the Iraqi market following our project in the Karbala province,” Simon Azzam, chief executive of Bloom Properties, said in a statement.
Mohammed Handal, general manager, Handal International Group, said the project will provide more than 10,000 jobs, in direct construction of the project as well as ancillary businesses and operations associated with the project.