Emaar Properties reveals China expansion plans

Global real estate major Emaar Properties has taken a significant step in its international expansion programme, becoming the first Middle East property developer to open a full-fledged office in China. The office is intended to act as a beachhead for Emaar’s ambitious investment plans for the world’s second largest economy.

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By  Andrew White Published  July 9, 2006

Global real estate major Emaar Properties has taken a significant step in its international expansion programme, becoming the first Middle East property developer to open a full-fledged office in China. The office is intended to act as a beachhead for Emaar’s ambitious investment plans for the world’s second largest economy. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, returned from China on Friday and revealed that the new office in the Jiushi office building in Shanghai would open before the end of this month. “Emaar’s entry into China completes a strategic leg of our international expansion programme that focused on three booming markets – the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and now China,” said Mr Alabbar. “Following China's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and market reforms gaining pace, the Chinese economy has been growing at an impressive rate,” he continued. “China’s contribution to the global GDP growth is more than that of America as well as that of the three next-largest emerging economies – India, Brazil and Russia. Underpinning this growth momentum is the property sector.” Emaar’s multi-pronged approach to tap into the Chinese economy - which recorded a 9.9% growth in 2005 - will begin with the development of modern, community-centric lifestyle developments in Beijing and Shanghai. These residential projects will feature the entire spectrum of amenities including fitness centers, retail malls, schools and hotels. In particular, Beijing will be the venue for the 2008 Olympics and Shanghai will host the 2010 World Expo. Apart from Beijing and Shanghai, Emaar is also looking at other growing cities in the country for more real estate development projects. The company will in addition look at strategic investments in healthcare and education. “China’s growth prospects are not for the short-term,” added Alabbar. “The growth is backed by strong fundamentals and a high pool of skilled workforce. Emaar’s expansion into China follows extensive market research and is in line with our Vision 2010 of becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world in the next four years.” Emaar already has a series of joint ventures and projects across the region covering India, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. The developer has also announced plans to aggressively expand its retail sector with investments of over US$4 billion to develop approximately 150 malls in the larger emerging markets of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. The Dubai-based Public Joint Stock Company is listed on the Dubai Financial Market and is part of the Dow Jones Arabia Titans Index. The company recently announced that net profits for the first quarter ended 31 March 2006 reached US$413.1 million – a significant rise on the US$361.0 million for the equivalent period from 2005.

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