Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 August 2019

Abu Dhabi developer Imkan plots expansion in Egypt

Company to deliver its first five projects in 2019, including three in the UAE

Imkan's Al Jurf villa model on display at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2019. Reem Mohammed / The National
Imkan's Al Jurf villa model on display at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2019. Reem Mohammed / The National

Real estate developer Imkan, a subsidiary of private equity investor Abu Dhabi Capital Group, plans to expand its offering in Egypt, with discussions ongoing with the Egyptian government to acquire a parcel of land for future development, its chief executive said.

“We have ambitious plans for Egypt, which will be the focus of our company’s expansion in the next year or so,” Walid El Hindi told The National.

The deal is expected to conclude in the next three months, and would pave the way for Imkan to develop a sizeable mixed-use community amid rapid population growth in the North African country.

“The UAE and Egypt have a great relationship with one another, and Egypt’s population is expected to grow from 100 million now to almost 150 million by 2050, so there is no answer really but to offer real estate as a solution for that,” the chief executive added.

Imkan, which launched in 2017, is delivering its first five real estate projects this year – a “pivotal” year for Imkan, Mr El Hindi said – including three in Abu Dhabi, a hotel in Morocco, and a mixed-use scheme in Egypt. The latter has sold out and is due for handover this quarter, while Sheikha Fatima Park, a retail scheme in Abu Dhabi, begun leasing to occupiers last October.

Nudra, a luxury development of 37 villas on Saadiyat Island is 50 per cent sold and over 60 per cent constructed with handover due in the summer, while Thanaya is a residential community of 84 apartments in Abu Dhabi’s Al Muntazah district, which will be held for renters as a revenue-raising asset for Imkan.

In addition, Imkan is building the 18-hectare 'Makers District' on Reem Island, which is intended to become a hub for creative businesses and workshops.

Last year, Imkan announced plans to build a Dh15 billion seaside project – Sahel Al Emarat – located on a stretch of coastline between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The first phase of 293 villas called Al Jurf Gardens came for sale in February, with the majority of buyers to date being Emirati families seeking a second, or holiday home in the country, Mr El Hindi said.

Plans are still in the works for a luxury hotel and residence in the centre of Abu Dhabi, designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick and first announced at Cityscape Abu Dhabi last year. The Ras Al Akhdar project will be located adjacent to the Presidential Palace.

Imkan appointed a hotel operator four months ago, according to Mr El Hindi, without disclosing its name, and the two parties are drawing up a financial feasibility plan with further details set to be made public later this year.

Updated: April 18, 2019 08:17 PM

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