Middle East Special Envoy Tony Blair meets with Qatari Diar CEO and Massar CEO at PIC
Qatari Diar CEO Al Saad and Massar CEO Masri meet Blair at Bethlehem conference
Bethlehem, May 22, 2008 - In a private one-on-one conference with Qatari Diar CEO Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad and Massar International CEO Bashar Masri, Mideast Envoy Tony Blair promised to deliver the support of the donor community to Qatari Diar’s Palestinian planned city project, the development of the town of Rawabi. Al Saad and Masri briefed Blair on project progress to date and outlined the key areas in which donor participation would be useful.
Blair is familiar with the Rawabi development plans and has been following the project for a number of months. Qatari Diar’s decision to partner with Massar International on the project is viewed as a virtual guarantee plans for the town will come to fruition. The international community is now seeking high profile projects in which to participate to demonstrate their support of the government of Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad after the Paris donor conference. Blair observed that one of his main tasks is to identify investment projects with strong potential to improve the lives of ordinary Palestinian citizens. In the meeting, he promised to focus the attention of the donor community on the Rawabi project.
Al-Saad and Masri signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Prime Minister Fayyad at a media event immediately after the opening plenary of the investment conference. Dr. Fayyad walked directly from the plenary session room to the signing ceremony with Al Saad in a visible show of government support for the Rawabi project. In his remarks, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the government of Qatar and the Qatari people for their support of the Palestinian people through the Rawabi project.
"Qatari Diar is honored to be present at this conference and very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the improvement of the situation of the Palestinian people", remarked Al-Saad. "The coming months will bear out the level of our commitment to the Rawabi project. With our partner, Massar International, Qatari Diar will deliver a new planned city to the Palestinian people that will exceed every expectation of the project’s success."
The town of Rawabi will cost more than $350 million to build. Construction phases will span a 5-year period and ultimately, the town will be home to more than 40,000 residents. Bayti Real Estate Investment Company, which is jointly owned by Qatari Diar and Massar International, will manage the Rawabi project in Palestine.
The town of Rawabi is designed to attract Palestinians seeking affordable housing in a well-zoned, accessible environment, sheltered amid rolling hills with picturesque views. Rawabi will offer a true quality-of-life option well within the financial reach of young Palestinian families and Palestine"s rapidly growing demographic group of single male and female working professionals.
The site for the new city is situated 9 km north of Ramallah, 3.5 km beyond Birzeit University and approximately 25 km from Nablus. The area is currently under the control of the Palestinian Authority. When the town is fully built, it will feature more than 5,000 apartment and townhome units housing up to 25,000 residents. Additional residential and commercial units slated for subsequent construction phases will ultimately serve a town with a population of 40,000. Surrounded by seven villages within a one-kilometer radius, the town of Rawabi and its commercial infrastructure will attract patrons from these villages and more in the surrounding environs.
Rawabi’s residential areas will be constructed around a central commercial area, which will feature a pedestrian promenade for shops and restaurants. Banks, groceries, medical offices and professional service providers will also be situated within the commercial district. The town will feature schools, community playgrounds, walking trails, a hospital, a hotel and a movie theater.
QATARI DIAR Real Estate Investment Company www.qataridiar.com
QATARI DIAR is fully owned by the Qatar Investment Authority and was founded to support Qatar’s rapidly expanding economy and to provide structure and quality control for the country’s real estate development priorities.
Capitalized at US $1 billion, QATARI DIAR has the investment resources to be truly innovative and forward thinking. The company is founded on the world’s best practice project development and management disciplines, enabling it to have an impact on the built environment to enrich and enhance the quality of life of the communities it serves. The company has 18 projects underway.
In addition to the Rawabi project, QATARI DIAR is building signature projects and facilitating vibrant new communities on an unprecedented scale. These range from the giant Lusail project in Qatar to the development of landmark resorts, such as Ras Al-Hadd eco-tourist resort in Oman, to recreating a kasbah in Al Houara, south of Tangier, to projects in exotic destinations such as the Seychelles and Cuba.
MASSAR INTERNATIONAL www.massar.com
Massar International is a holding company headquartered in Ramallah, Palestine that oversees and manages a network of 15 subsidiaries. Its core business activities are real estate development, financial and investment services, and corporate business development. The company was founded to promote sustainable economic development through private sector capacity building initiatives in Palestine. Today, Massar’s operational scope has expanded to include the MENA region as well as Eastern Europe.
The Massar International Real Estate Group develops residential housing projects, commercial properties, combined residential and recreational communities and other land use infrastructure projects for buyers from a variety of socio-economic strata. The company’s initial real estate development projects are extremely successful and have positioned Massar International to expand into additional countries in the region.