Axon boosts Korean presence

Developer announces US $700 million investment in seven Dubai projects, including Sports City and Business Bay

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By  Tim Wood Published  May 27, 2006

Leading South Korean developer, Axon, is to invest US $700 million (AED 2.56 billion) in seven new developments in Dubai. Axon Gulf, the company’s regional subsidiary, last week sealed a $100 million investment deal with Dubai Sports City to develop a 30-storey commercial tower. The tower, which is being built on a 131,141m2 plot, is to be constructed by Korean contractor Shin Sung. Work is due to start in July and the project is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2008. June-Soo Kim, Axon Gulf’s chief executive, confirmed: “This is the first of our seven projects that we are investing in across Dubai, involving a total of $700 million. “This is pure Korean investment coming to the UAE. Dubai is a safe and stable market for foreign investment, where the economy is growing. “The average return on investment is much higher and faster than many other places, so we felt this was the right place and time for us to invest in the emirate’s real estate sector.” The other six projects include two more in the Dubai Sports City, and four commercial towers in Business Bay. Kim also revealed that Axon is finding it extremely difficult to find local contractors to carry out the work and is looking at Korean construction companies to develop its projects. “There is an acute shortage of them [local firms] in the market,” he added. Korean investment in the UAE is growing at a significant rate with the amount of money being ploughed in totalling more than $850 million in the past few months alone. Two construction companies, Bando and Sung Wong have invested $350 million each in Dubai projects and have both said that there will be more investment to come. Last year Korean firms secured $8.7 billion worth of contracts in the UAE, more than three times the 2004 figure.

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