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Lukashenko discusses investment projects with major Dubai developer

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in implementing projects in the real economic sector with the United Arab Emirates, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties PJSC, one of the world's largest real estate development companies, BelTA has learned.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Belarusian head of state compared the weather in Belarus with the climate of the UAE: “It is a pleasure for me to meet with you in Minsk, not in Abu Dhabi where the weather is hot. I think you feel comfortable here.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that during his visit to the UAE, the parties already discussed areas of bilateral cooperation. Mohamed Alabbar was invited to Minsk to discuss the work of Emaar Properties in Belarus in greater detail. “We are ready to cooperate with the Emirates not only within the scope of business of your company, but go far beyond it to cover the manufacturing industry and agriculture. These sectors, just like construction, are of paramount importance for us. “Therefore, we can now discuss projects that are in the works. However, to be honest, I am more interested in projects in the real economic sector,” the president noted.

The head of state noted that Emaar Properties is known not only in the Arab world. In his view, if the company launches operations in Belarus, this could send a positive message to the entire international community convincing them that Belarus is a good place to invest money. “I know that you are a very careful and deliberate investor,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The details of cooperation were discussed behind closed doors. However, the president noted that he liked some ideas of the UAE leaders. “During my stay in the Emirates and during the visit of the crown prince to Belarus, I liked a number of ideas he voiced, including one of your ideas and I would like to discuss this idea here,” the head of state added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the businessman to give Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum his best regards and to thank them for everything they did for the Belarusian head of state and his delegation in the Emirates.

Mohamed Alabbar is a co-owner of a number of international companies operating in the fields of investment, real estate, hospitality, e-commerce, logistics, food industry, fashion and others. His businesses have presence in more than 50 countries worldwide. His net worth is estimated at $4.6 billion. He was behind the concept of a modern-day Dubai and its iconic real estate assets. He acts as a top advisor for economic and investment matters of high-ranking officials of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Dubai-based Emaar Properties is of the world's biggest real estate development companies. With over 60 branches, Emaar has collective presence in dozens of markets across the Middle East, North Africa, Pan-Asia, Europe and North America. Emaar has diversified interests in real estate including both commercial and residential property development, as well as malls and hospitality, entertainment, information and communication technology and services for business, investment and real estate maintenance. Emaar Properties is known for various large-scale projects in Dubai such as developing Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and The Dubai Mall. In addition to that, the King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia is also developed by Emaar. The city is divided into six main components: Industrial Zone, Sea Port, Residential Areas, Sea Resort, Educational Zone, and a Central Business District. As of 2018, the company had a valuation of nearly $10 billion. According to Bloomberg, the company's revenue in 2018 approximated $7 billion, assets were worth over $30 billion.