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A new tourist and entertainment destination with residential apartments, retail outlets, cinema hall, marina club and a community centre will be constructed in Abu Dhabi with an investment of Dh850 million, the developers Al Barakah International Investments announced on Wednesday.
“The tourist market is expanding in Abu Dhabi with what Etihad Airways is doing. This is one of the main projects that will put Abu Dhabi on the tourism map,” said Moataz Mashal, Managing Director of Al Barakah International Investments.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the project was held on Wednesday close to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with officials from Abu Dhabi Municipality attending the event.
The project will come up in an area spanning 150,000 square meters and is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.
The developers said that they leased 2.5 kilometres of land from Abu Dhabi Municipality to construct the project which is being done on a built operate and transfer basis.
The project named as Al Qana will have three to four floored furnished apartments that will be leased to customers, Mashal said.
“The number of apartments in not finalised but it will be three to four floors and it will be only for lease and there will not be any sale. It will be a luxurious kind of project aimed at increasing the entertainment and tourism potential of Abu Dhabi.”
“If you compare with other Emirates, Abu Dhabi may be little bit on the conservative site but now Abu Dhabi is starting to push that limit. Al Qana project will have the first and biggest aquarium in Abu Dhabi with 5000 meters height.”
According to him, the funding will be done through local banks with 70 per cent debt and 30 per cent equity.
He said the company is more than 20 years old with businessmen Saeed bin Omeir being its chairman.
“We have lot of projects that we can invest in. We will be focusing on this project at the moment. Once we launch this project we will look into others.”
The marina club will have berthing facilities for 98 mini yachts, he added.
Abu Dhabi has been focusing on attracting tourists in a big way in recent times. According to figures released by Tourism and Culture Authority, over 4.1 million guests arrived in the emirate in 2015 with India being the biggest source market followed by the UK, China and the US.
Two of the biggest projects aimed at boosting cultural tourism in the emirate including Guggenheim and Louvre museum are in different stages of construction on Saadiyat Island.
A new metro line connecting the Midfield Terminal with Saadiyat Island is also being considered by the authorities.
Source: Fareed Rahman, Senior Reporter, gulfnews.com