Amman opens districts for US $1 billion investment

30-hectare Abdali project is in heart of the Jordanian capital

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By  Eudore Chand Published  January 8, 2005

A US $1 billion, multi-faceted project, is being undertaken in Jordan to revamp a key area in the heart of Amman. The massive 30 hectare Abdali project features several development districts: IT, residential, retailing & entertainment, medical, a civic pole, a campus for the American University in Jordan and a pedestrian spine. The area’s central location is seen as key to the project’s appeal for developers. Boundaries of the Abdali site are King Hussein Street in the north, Suleiman Nabulsi Street to the South, the Parliament building to the East and Queen Noor Boulevard to the West. The site is surrounded by more than 40 banks, financial institutions and public institutions, 12 major hotels, nine major hospitals, numerous clinics and medical centres and four commercial centres, as well as by landmarks such as King Abdullah Mosque and the Palace of Justice. Handling the project is Abdali Investment & Development, a company established in Jordan jointly by Mawared, the country’s National Resources Investment & Development Corporation; and Oger Jordan, a Jordanian branch of Saudi Oger, a development organisation involved with construction projects all over the region. Joseph Helou, Abdali’s general manager, says the project has clear-cut goals. “One is to achieve a vibrant, tightly-knit, architecturally distinctive and modern urban nucleus,” he says. “Another is to create a smart urban community that thrives on the interface between business and education, state-of-the-art infrastructure and communications. A third is to create conditions for increased local economic development by attracting local and international investment.” The Abdali project’s components include retail buildings and malls, high- and mid-rise office buildings, residential buildings from luxury apartments to student dormitories, medical centres, hotels, cinemas and entertainment facilities. The project comes at a time when Jordan is enjoying a revival in its real estate sector, which grew 15% year on year in 2003 and 17% in the first half of 2004. Helou says the Abdali site’s IT district, on the highest point of the site, will feature high-rise office buildings adjacent to Amman’s Shmeisani financial district. “The Residential district is set between the Pedestrian Spine and Suleiman Nabulsi Street, and will target the transient population of professionals and about 6000 university students,” says Helou. “The University Campus shares the northern portion of the site with the Medical district which will contain a variety of medical facilities. All the districts surround the central Retailing and Entertainment district. The Civic Pole on the eastern edge of the site comprises existing public landmarks that will be complemented by a performing arts centre and the King Hussein Memorial Library, to form a Civic Plaza,” Helou says.

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