Emaar to build $2bn resort in Iraq's Kurdish region
Emaar Properties and Kurdish company Faruk Group Holding will soon sign a contract valued at more than US$2 billion to develop a resort in Iraq's oil-rich Kurdish region in the north, a government official said.
The Dukan tourist city project will be built in Sulaymaniyah near the border with Iran, Herish Muharam Muhamad, chairman of Kurdistan Regional Government's investment board, said in an interview in the regional capital, Erbil. The resort at the artificial lake Dukan will include hotels, restaurants and residential areas as well as cinemas and casinos, he said.
The semi-autonomous Kurdish region has become a focal point for tourists and business visitors even as much of Iraq continues to face political and ethnic violence following the war that toppled Saddam Hussein. Emaar, which has the heaviest weighting on Dubai's benchmark stock index, last year signed an agreement with Iraq government officials to develop housing and tourism projects in the country.
Faruk Group Holding comprises 12 companies in businesses including construction, telecommunications, cement, hospitality and retail. It is Iraq's largest private company, with 11,000 employees, according to Faruk's website.
Emaar is bidding for a $5bn housing project in central Iraq, Mohammed Ameen, vice chairman of Iraq's National Investment Commission, said in an April 1 interview in Baghdad. Iraq has allocated more than $31bn to address a residential shortage estimated at more than 670,000 homes. Emaar did not immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment on the Kurdish resort project.
* Bloomberg News
Updated: June 12, 2013 04:00 AM