Gulf real estate companies look abroad for new projects and deals

Expansion plans are emerging from the ashes of the Middle East property market with a number of key developers and real estate companies announcing new projects.

But the building won’t be in the desert sands, but further afield as the companies look to other parts of the world rather than on their own doorstep.

Also the new projects are much lower key than the kind of spectacular developments that were launched at the annual Cityscape real estate expo last year.

Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, a unit of the Qatar Investment Authority, is keen to strengthen its presence in the real estate market in Central Asia with a mega project in Tajikistan.

It is also in discussions about a similar project in Vietnam and is also considering China which it regards as a promising market.

The luxury mixed use $150 million Dushanbe Diar development in the Tajik capital Dushanbe will include residential towers, commercial and retail space, a luxurious 5-Star hotel, as well as sports and leisure facilities when it is completed in 2013.

The global real estate arm of Dubai World, Limitless is making its first foray in the Indonesian real estate sector with a $1.7 billion, 330,000 square metre mixed-use joint-venture development in Jakarta with Bakrieland Development .

‘Our entry into Indonesia cements our commitment to South East Asia, where we have made huge strides since launching our operations there nine months ago,’ said Saeed Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Limitless.

Meanwhile Arabtec Holding is confident a deal to build Europe’s tallest building for the Russian oil company Gazprom Neft will now go ahead despite public opposition to the 400 metre Okhta Centre tower in St Petersburg.

The UNESCO has also warned that the city’s historic centre could be struck off the World Heritage List if the project, which will be Gazprom Neft’s headquarters, is built. But protests are not expected to halt the projects, according to Ziad Makhzoumi, the chief financial officer of Arabtec.

The company confirmed it has been seeking new overseas contracts to compensate for lost work in the United Arab Emirates which has shaved about Dh4 billion off the company’s order book. In March it set up Arabtec Saudi Arabia to invest in that country.