Gulf Finance puts out $1 billion in Jordan

Royal Metropolis will have the Jordan Gate and Districts components

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 20, 2004

Leading Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House is to invest over US$1 billion in a huge real estate project in Jordan. The proposed development will be called The Royal Metropolis and has been conceived by GFH. The move is part of the bank’s ambitious regional expansion and investment strategy. “GFH has gained significant exposure in large infrastructure ventures in Bahrain as well as in the region and the Royal Metropolis is another milestone in the bank’s long-term growth strategy,” says Esam Janahi, CEO of GFH. The Royal Metropolis will add value to Jordan’s economic initiatives by attracting foreign investment and supporting private sector growth. We have envisaged the project as a regional landmark in its architectural aesthetics and amenities, accelerating long-term economic growth,” he added. The Royal Metropolis project will comprise two major components: the Jordan Gate and The Districts. The first phase of the project is Jordan Gate, which will include a futuristic 35-storey office tower, a 35-storey hotel block and a five-storey podium covering a total built area of 220 000 m2. The complex will also feature executive corporate apartments, modern conference facilities, a five-star luxury hotel and an array of retail outlets. Jordan Gate will be located in a prestigious location in Amman and when completed will be an attractive location for major international companies. The second phase of Royal Metropolis envisages several industry-themed ‘Districts,’ that are aimed at reinforcing Jordan’s status as a dynamic destination for global investments. The ‘Districts’ will comprise a primary asset class including business components and a secondary asset class covering private, residence, leisure and entertainment. Identifying particular industrial sectors for development has been a priority of the Jordanian government. Each District will be created as a stand-alone community focusing on specific industry segments. The business model for the Districts will be developed with a bottom-up approach focused on Jordan’s core competencies. “Jordan offers excellent investment opportunities and the Royal Metropolis is a substantial initiative that will promote the kingdom as a business-friendly destination. For GFH, this initiative is a crucial step in the development of its regional investment strategy. GFH aims to strengthen economic and business relations across the region in order to facilitate the expansion of the region’s economies,” Janahi said. GFH has shown keen interest in some tourism and mining projects in the north of Jordan and Marj Al Hamam. The Royal Metropolis project was presented to Faisal El Fayez, Prime Minister of Jordan, and other senior government officials, by a high-level delegation comprising senior GFH officials and its associated partners in the project. “We had a very constructive meeting with His Excellency the Prime Minister and other senior officials in Amman during which we presented the full scope of the proposed Royal Metropolis project. We have been assured of the government of Jordan’s full co-operation in making this unique development an unqualified success,” said Dr. Fuad Al Omar, GFH chairman and head of the delegation. “We are confident that The Metropolis project will effectively complement the progressive set of reforms that have been embarked upon by the government of Jordan and will serve as a catalyst in its economic growth, by stimulating investment flows into the country’s social and industrial sectors,” he added. The GFH delegation included Janahi and Muhannad Hamad, GFH executive director, and UAE-based Al Hamad Contracting Company general manager Nashad Sahawneh. Established five years ago, Gulf Finance House has a paid-up capital of $135 million and authorised capital of $300 million. GFH’s portfolio includes the Bahrain Financial Harbour.

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