DUBAI Oct 3 Dubai's Emaar Properties
will set up a new joint venture with the Iraqi government to
develop housing in the war-torn country, Iraq's construction and
housing minister said on Wednesday.
Muhammed al-Darraji gave no financial terms but said the
government will give free land to the developer to build
Iraq, which needs about 2 million new housing units, has a
$2 billion budget for infrastructure and housing spending in
2013, the minister said.
"We are building 65,000 homes but whatever we build from our
budget is not enough to meet out housing needs," al-Darraji said
on the sidelines of a real estate conference in Dubai. "We will
sign an agreement with Emaar to develop housing in Iraq ... a
joint venture between Emaar and the government."
Nine years after the United States invaded Iraq to topple
Saddam Hussein, there are signs that foreign investment in the
country is finally building momentum. The potential of Iraq's
oil wealth means some foreign investors are willing to accept
The Iraqi ministry is also in talks with other Dubai
developers to build projects in Iraq, said Thir Aldabagh, an
advisor at Iraq's construction and housing ministry.
Emaar has skirted clear of its home market in the aftermath
of a property slump that saw prices slump by more than 60
percent from 2008 peaks.
On Wednesday, the developer launched the Boulevardi project
in Turkey, a mixed-use development made up of more than 1,000
luxury homes and a 190-room five-star hotel.
Emaar also said on Tuesday it plans to build a retail and
entertainment complex outside in Cairo in an $820-million tie-up
with UAE property firm Al-Futtaim Group.
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Amran Abocar)