Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Syrian workers construct a building in Damascus. The price of property in Syria has sky-rocketed in Syria, where an apartment can be sold for three million USD, an inaccessbile dream for most Syrians. AFP PHOTO/ LOUAI BESHARA
Syrian workers construct a building in Damascus. The price of property in Syria has sky-rocketed in Syria, where an apartment can be sold for three million USD, an inaccessbile dream for most Syrians. AFP PHOTO/ LOUAI BESHARA

Syria: Property projects aborted or delayed

Syria Sanctions: UAE property companies moved into Syria expecting rapid growth, but now they are facing long delays.

Syria was viewed as a hot market for regional property and construction companies before the turmoil.

Several companies from other Arab nations launched operations in the country, especially from UAE and Qatar, as the Syrian government moved to relax restrictions on foreign investments.

But most of the projects were delayed or shut down after violence broke out in the streets. The new sanctions are unlikely to have an immediate impact, analysts say.

"The markets are already discounting" the impact of the unrest on property companies, said Ankur Khetawat, analyst with AlembicHC.

The biggest project in Syria with ties to the UAE is the Dh1.8 billion (US$490 million) Eighth Gate in Yafour, near Damascus. Emaar, a Dubai developer, handed over the first phase of the project in the first half of the year, including 315 office units. Emaar declined to comment on the status of the project.

Other UAE companies with development interests in Syria include Arabtec, the UAE's largest construction company, which is helping to build Eighth Gate. Arabtec also has a contract to build the $120m Yasmeen Rotana Hotel in Mazzeh.

Drake & Scull International (DSI) opened an office in Syria last year and announced its first deal, a Dh85m contract to fit out the Rotana Gardenia Hotel in Homs, just weeks before violence broke out.

The project was in its early stages and DSI pulled out its employees months ago, as the conflict escalated in Homs. "We don't have any financial liability," said Zeina Tabari, DSI's chief corporate affairs officer.

Depa, a Dubai interior contractor, also went into Syria last year and lists two projects in its backlog - a Dh68.4m contract for the Yasmeen Rotana and a Dh67.3m deal for the Gardenia Rotana.

Belhasa, a Dubai conglomerate, had joined a Syrian company, Palmyra Real Estate, which was developing a residential project. But Belhasa sold its stake last year to an Egyptian company.

Qatari Diar, a developer backed by the Qatar government, halted work this year on the $350m Ibn Hani Bay Resort in Latakia, in addition to projects in Damascus. Syria was also a key market for Lebanon's construction industry.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National