Emaar said to be close to $2bn Iraqi city deal

Company believed to be close to Kurdish tourist city deal

Emaar is developing closer links with Iraq.
Emaar is developing closer links with Iraq.

Dubai developer Emaar Properties is believed to be close to signing a $2bn contract to create a tourist city in Iraq’s Kurdish region, near the border with Iran.

The sprawling resort would be built in conjunction with Kurdish company Faruk Group Holding in Sulaymaniyah as part of the Durkan tourist city project, according to the chairman of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s investment board, Herish Muharam Muhamad.

Plans include hotels, restaurants, residential areas and at least one casino and are centred on the Durkan Lake, Muhamad told media in the regional capital Erbil on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

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The autonomous region in Iraq’s northeast has been working to improve its infrastructure since the fall of former president Saddam Hussein, who oppressed the Kurds, a decade ago

Turkey has been particularly instrumental in funding development of the picturesque region, which has remained relatively stable despite unrest in other areas of Iraq.

Emaar set-up a joint venture with the Iraqi government in October last year to develop housing in the war-torn country, which has a $2bn budget for infrastructure and housing spending in 2013.

The Dubai company also is reportedly bidding for a $5bn housing project in central Iraq.

Faruk Group Holding controls 12 companies in eight sectors, including hospitality, telecommunications, cement, medical services, construction, IT, automotive and retail.

It has been heavily involved in the development of Iraq, particularly in building communities, and is the country’s largest private company, with 11,000 employees, according to its website.

An Emaar Properties spokesperson said: "We do not comment on baseless rumours and speculation."

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