UAE companies are heading to Eastern Europe for investment opportunities.
Limitless, which is part of Dubai World, yesterday announced it had started building and selling apartments and townhouses in Moscow, while Al Habtoor Group,a UAE family conglomerate, is studying opportunities in Belarus.
The Limitless project, which is a joint venture with RDI Group, a property company based in Moscow, is in the first phase of the development, which includes 700 apartments and 46 townhouses.
"Russia has been a strategic market for us for some time," said Ian Raine, the head of operations at Limitless. "We formed a partnership with the Russian developer about four years ago to develop an area to the north of MoscowÖ We went through the process of the master planning and preparing the designs and so on, but we decided to hold the release of the project until such time as the market had recovered to a level where it was realistic to go forward with it, and that time seems to be now."
The project was attracting interest locally, Mr Raine said.
"You've got quite a significant population in the Moscow area and people are looking for better standards of living," he said.
Mr Raine declined to provide figures on the value of the project and the prices of the homes.
The development, 24 kilometres north-west of Moscow, is expected eventually to cover 111 hectares and accommodate 14,000 residents. Al Habtoor Group, which has interests in the construction, hotel, and car sectors, yesterday said it was planning to study development opportunities in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
The company was specifically interested in infrastructure projects and intended to send a team of experts from Al Habtoor to study the viability of such projects, it said.
This decision followed discussions with the ambassador of Belarus about business opportunities in his country.
Air links between the UAE and the Commonwealth of Independent States have increased substantially in the past year.