x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Al Maabar boldly goes into foreign ventures

The Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company plans to roll out up to US$11.5 billion offshore.

Al Maabar, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, plans to roll out up to US$11.5 billion (Dh42bn) in offshore projects, shrugging off the gloom that is keeping many competitors at home. At a time when UAE developers are reconsidering or delaying their involvement abroad, Al Maabar has plans to invest $1bn over three years in Morocco and Libya, and another $10.5bn over the longer term, mainly in Jordan.

"Our mandate is to invest outside the UAE," said Yousef al Nowais, the company's managing directordf. "Our cash flow will enable us to go on with developments in Morocco and Libya. We have secured our financing since we have solid shareholders." Projects in the two countries are already under construction. Mr Nowais said further investments were planned in Belarus, worth $500 million, Qatar, $380m and Tunisia, $1.3bn. As for the projects in Jordan, the investments are estimated at $8.5bn, making the country Al Maabar's largest commitment. However, capital will not be required immediately. "We are in the masterplanning phase anyway, and will be able to take hold of our land plot only in 18 months in Aqaba and will have access to the port only in four years," Mr Nowais said.

The company's shareholders are Aldar, with a 30 per cent stake, Sorouh, 30 per cent, Reem International, 12 per cent, Reem Investments, 16 per cent, and Al Qudra 12 per cent. The company is in talks with Mubadala about becoming a sixth shareholder. ngillet@thenational.ae