x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Bloom Properties will benefit from the rebuilding of Iraq thanks to a $15bn housing project deal with the government.

A rendering of the proposed US$15 billion Madinat Al Mustaqbal housing project on the outskirts of Baghdad. Courtesy Bloom
A rendering of the proposed US$15 billion Madinat Al Mustaqbal housing project on the outskirts of Baghdad. Courtesy Bloom

The Abu Dhabi-based developer Bloom Properties says it has signed a deal with the Iraqi government to help build a US$15 billion housing project on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Bloom said yesterday that it had struck a deal with the Iraqi National Investment Commission to build 50 per cent of its proposed Madinat Al Mustaqbal “City of the Future” scheme in Al Duhna, 14.5 kilometres to the west of Baghdad city centre. The project has been designed to include 15,000 homes.

Set to be developed in phases over a period of six years, the planned 2.5 million square metres project is designed to include 2,500 townhouses and villas as well as shops, a civil defence centre, municipal offices, a post office, schools, clinics, mosques and a police station. A total of 209,960 sq metres will be allocated to areas of green open space.

Bloom is understood to have beaten competition from a consortium of developers from the UAE and Kuwait to win the prestigious deal.

“The contract signals our commitment to establishing world-class projects in the country as part of efforts to raise the standard of living of our citizens,” Sami Al Araji, chairman of the National Investment Commission said at a signing ceremony in Baghdad. ‘City of the Future – Madinat Al Mustaqabal’ will undoubtedly serve as an exemplary urban city model.”

The news is the latest in a series of high-profile property deals that have been signed by UAE developers in Iraq as the country attempts to rebuild after years of war.

Last October Bloom was one of six UAE developers, including Dubai based Emaar and Damac, to sign agreements with the Iraqi government to work on affordable and luxury property projects.

In March it signed a contract with the Iraqi National Investment Commission and the Governorate of Karbala to start work on a 40,000 home “Shores of Karbala” project which is planned to extend over 20 square kilometres along the banks of Lake Razaza in the city of Karbala, 100km south-west of Baghdad.

According to the Iraqi ministry of construction and housing, the country needs to build 150,000 homes a year to satisfy demand and currently it can manage to develop only about 60,000.

The federal budget is expected to increase to US$200 billion by 2015, much of which has been earmarked for much-needed housing and infrastructure projects.

“[These] projects are vital to fulfilling market needs,” said Simon Azzam, the chief executive of Bloom Properties. “Our strategic vision of embracing growth of the local market will always remain the dynamic force of our expansion strategy in this key destination.”

lbarnard@thenational.ae