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Net foreign investments in Jordan reached a peak of $3.54 billion in 2006.
Net foreign investments in Jordan reached a peak of $3.54 billion in 2006.

A latecomer makes its pitch

Gulf investments in Jordan are concentrated in the country's property sector.

Gulf investments in Jordan are concentrated in the country's property sector.

Abu Dhabi's Al Maabar is developing two major projects there: Marsa Zayed, a port on the Red Sea that is being transformed into a leisure and tourism destination; and the Abdoun development, a collection of luxury apartments, hotels and retail space in one of Amman's glitziest districts.

Emaar Properties of Dubai is building the Dh1.8 billion (US$490 million) Samarah Dead Sea Resort, and formed a subsidiary in 2006 to invest in tourism ventures with several Jordanian investors.

Damac Properties and Tameer, another pair of Dubai developers, have also invested about Dh3.6bn in the Abdali New Downtown in Amman, according to a report from 2008. Tameer is also behind a Dh1.8bn housing project in Zarqa called Madinat Al Majd.Those big outlays came as Jordan positioned itself as receptive to foreign involvement and promoted itself to countries in Europe, Asia and the Gulf as a destination for investment.It has established a number of economic free zones that offer developed-world legal structures and other incentives to companies.

As a relative latecomer to the global market for foreign investment, however, Jordan still lags many countries in the region.

Net foreign investment in the country reached a peak of $3.54bn in 2006, then trailed off to $2.38bn in 2009, according to World Bank figures.

Perhaps the highest-profile foreign investment in Jordan thus far has been France Telecom's acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Jordan Telecom Group, which operates under the Orange brand.

But the UAE is one of the biggest sources of foreign investment in the country, with property companies alone putting in at least Dh26bn in recent years.

 

 

bhope@thenational.ae

afitch@thenational.ae

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