Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dubai World Central to launch international property arm

Original ArticleDUBAI // The Dubai World Central (DWC) Real Estate, a body tasked with developing US$33 billion (Dh121bn) urban master planned development, centred around the Dubai’s new Maktoum International Airport will launch its international property arm in the second quarter of next year.

The planned international property firm, which has yet to be named, will export the DWC aviation-cargo-property model to markets in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, Khalid Harib bin Harib, the chief executive of property at DWC said yesterday.

“We are still maturing as a master developer and will soon be ready for other markets when we launch our international arm next year,” Mr Harib said, adding that DWC’s property division has already received interest from two firms in Europe, three in Africa, as well as one each in the Middle East and Asia for future partnerships and investments.

“Not many (firms) in the world have the expertise and the knowledge to build such a huge urban development combining aviation, cargo, commercial and residential components,” he said. “It took us four years to get where we are and this experience is matchless.”

According to Mr Harib, DWC has already made investment commitments with interested parties but added they would only be fulfilled once the international operation has been launched. He declined to reveal the new firm’s investment strategy and which international markets it would be targeting.

“The level of investment will depend on the projects we undertake,” he said. “But once we are ready, the whole world is open.”

He said Asia, Africa and the wider Middle East presented the greatest potential, and that the firm would “keep an eye open” for investment opportunities. “Our approach is the same as any other developer. But we are offering a different set of expertise.”

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