Iran stone news,
When Dubai’s Emaar Properties announced its US$3 billion Downtown Erbil development in October, the spotlight once again shone on the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq and its role as the Middle East’s latest great economic hope.
With 541,000 square metres of houses and apartments, offices, hotels, mall and parks the development was lauded by the Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar as a true business hub for Erbil, one that would “promote the local economy, bring in investment and create hundreds of jobs”.
Few would doubt Erbil is in good stead going into this year. The city is not only a hub for international business looking to capitalise on the Kurdish Region of Iraq’s (KRI) solid growth, stability and relative safety, it is also a growing base for firms looking for a solid base to exploit opportunities in the unstable south.
With a population of some 5.2 million, the KRI has an estimated 45 billion barrels of oil reserves as well as unknown quantities of natural gas, a fact which, as of the start of last year, has attracted some $20bn since the Investment Law threw open the door to international oil companies in 2006.
But the concrete shells of unfinished construction projects are an all-too familiar site in the city, looming from the sand on almost every vacant plot of land within Erbil’s numerous ring roads. These projects, many of which are abandoned, demonstrate that while Erbil’s momentum is obvious, in many ways this is still Iraq.