Ministry of Local Government Approves Masterplan for the First Palestinian Planned City

Bayti Real Estate Investment Company to Initiate Construction of the First Phase of Rawabi

Ramallah, December 8, 2009 — Bayti Real Estate Investment Company, the developer of Rawabi, announced that Dr. Khaled Fahd Al Qawasmi, Minister of Local Government of the Palestinian Authority (PA), has approved Rawabi’s Masterplan in an unprecedented and definitive move to clear the way for construction to begin on the first new Palestinian city in recent history. The official Ministry approval was preceded by the approval of the Palestinian Higher Planning Council.

Bayti is jointly owned by Qatar government-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Ramallah-based Massar International. Experts form Qatari Diar have been working closely with their Palestinian counterparts to finalize preparations to launch construction of more than 5 thousand housing units and the Rawabi city center 9 kilometers north of Ramallah. Qatari Diar CEO, Mr. Ghanem Bin Saad al Saad, reiterated his company’s commitment to ensure that the Rawabi project develops as planned and comes to fruition in a timely manner, emphasizing the need to improve quality of life of the Palestinian people. 

The Rawabi team considers the Ministry of Local Government’s timely approval of the Masterplan to reflect the mutual commitment to the Public-Private Partnership agreement signed by Bayti and the PA, in which the PA pledged support for the city throughout the project phases.

Palestinian Minister of Economy, Dr. Hassan Abu Libdeh, stressed the importance of an expedited project timeline in order materialize plans for the new city into reality. He also underscored the significance of the Rawabi project in terms of job creation for Palestinians, noting that the project will result in the creation of thousands of jobs, both temporary and permanent, and will help alleviate the housing shortage crisis with the construction of a sizeable number of affordable housing units. He also reiterated the mandate of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad to support private sector projects that improve the Palestinian economy.

Bayti Managing Director, Mr. Bashar Masri, confirmed the company’s intention to launch construction within a few weeks and that contracts are currently being awarded to a number of Palestinian contractors. 

The Rawabi Masterplan is the result of months of intensive collaborative efforts on the part of the project partners. Bayti’s in-house technical team, with the support of experts from Qatari Diar, engaged and oversaw the planners, architects, and engineers from the well-known international firm AECOM, along with Palestinian experts from An-Najah and Birzeit universities. The Masterplan integrates exemplary planning and design principles, sustainable environmental practices, appropriate architectural features, creative use of public and green spaces, and ease of access considerations.