Emaar in North Africa expansion

DUBAI-BASED Emaar Properties has continued its expansion into North Africa by unveiling plans to build a US$1.2 billion residential golfing complex just outside Casablanca in Morocco.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  December 4, 2005

DUBAI-BASED Emaar Properties has continued its expansion into North Africa by unveiling plans to build a US$1.2 billion residential golfing complex just outside Casablanca in Morocco. The project, dubbed Bahia Bay, is a joint venture between Emaar and Moroccan industrial and financial firm, the ONA Group. The 5.3 million square metres development, which is situated on the picturesque Moroccan shoreline along the Casablanca — Rabat coastal freeway, will consist of a range of villas, semi-detached houses, townhouses and apartments as well as an 18-hole championship golf course. The development will also feature a beach hotel, golf hotel, beach clubs, equestrian facilities, landscaped parks, retail and entertainment areas as well as a community and recreation centre. Bahia Bay is expected to be open for business once it is completed in the second quarter of 2010. Meanwhile, manmade rock pools and breakwaters will help create sandy white beaches at the complex. “Following the success of our existing golfing communities in Dubai – Arabian Ranches and Emirates Hills – the Bahia Bay community will become a flagship development for Emaar’s expansion in the North Africa region,” said Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties, which is one third-owned by the government of Dubai. The Bahia Bay project closely follows Emaar-ONA’s first project launch in Morocco last month — Amelkis II, a similar residential golfing complex in Marrakech which allows individual buyers to purchase plots of land in order to design and build their ideal home. The Bahia Bay announcement sees the continuation of Emaar’s strategy of rolling-out predesigned residential developments in strategic locations — whether in the heart of a city or at coastal locations. And with the two golf project set to kick-off in the new year, Emaar boss Alabbar sees Morocco is a key growth area for his fast-growing company. “Morocco is a significant part of Emaar’s international expansion plans. Already we have seen the great potential in the Moroccan market with our Amelkis II development,” he said. “Not only will this project benefit the people of Morocco, but it will also boost tourism within the area. Our mission is to offer our customers world class communities —constantly integrating parks, landscaped areas and retail centres into master-planned and themed lifestyles,” he added. The project is Emaar’s latest outside Dubai, where it is spearheading a construction boom, which includes the building of the tallest tower in the world and many residential community developments. The company is also understood to be considering a move into aviation. It is reportedly in discussions with an as yet unnamed airline to launch air taxi services from Dubai to Sharjah. No official comment was available from the company.

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