UAE’s Midein Group and Faiszer in landmark urban housing push

Saturday, 6 July 2013 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • UAE’s mega developer Midein Holding LLC enters Sri Lanka
  • “We warmly welcome you!”: Faiszer
  • New tech transfer on house building on the cards
  • “We welcome the tech transfer”: BoI’s Dr. Jayaweera
Sri Lanka is moving for one of the biggest-ever urban housing infrastructure projects-in partnership with a well-known Middle Eastern multinational famed for mega developments.   “We warmly welcome you to Sri Lanka and your planned project here shall be a strong contributor towards our urban housing and infrastructure development vision,” said Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Faiszer Musthapha on 4 July. Musthapha was addressing Omair S Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Midein Holding LLC, the Abu Dhabi based large scale real estate and cityscape development entity which has a Middle Eastern (only) project portfolio that exceeds $ 3 billion. Among Midein Holding’s other operations are the US (luxury villas), Costa Rica (18,000 unit project) and Haiti (10,000 unit housing project). “We have received a very encouraging welcome in Sri Lanka. In partnership with Overseas Private Investment Corporation of US, we are planning to enter Sri Lanka initially in urban housing sector. We are mostly interested in bigger housing projects that take above 10,000 housing units per project. The model we want to employ here depends on the needs of the Government of Sri Lanka but we are capable at our end, in terms of financing, tech transfer and technical capacity,” said Al Dhaheri, who was accompanied by Luciano Giangiordano, the Director of his sister firm Green Technologies. “We can handle up to 25,000 housing units, especially low cost, per project,” Al Dhaheri added. “We are ready to establish a factory also so that necessary panels could be manufactured readily for the proposed housing project, possibly with an initial investment of $ 1 million only for factory equipment but it could be a maximum of $ 10 m as the case may be. This factory operation alone – apart from the construction of housing units – will generate skilled employment for Sri Lankans and bring the much needed new tech transfer in house construction field, to the country. We are also able to accommodate the proposed housing project into another model, creating high-rises that can go up to no less than 15 storeys. We are ready to set up and start the supplies factory within four months of entry. We are also ready to introduce new tech solar energy panels to these constructions as and when necessary.” Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion Musthapha, responding to the Minister, said: “In our new development phase thanks to the strong vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we have remodelled the capital city and we are also now looking to enhance urban housing capacities, especially in Colombo and close-by urban areas. The Urban Development Authority is flexible and warmly welcomes new construction firms and, depending on the credibility and capacity of Midein Holding, I believe that this project can positively contribute to our Government’s efforts to secure 70,000 units by 2016, especially in urban Colombo.” “The BoI is ready to support you,” said Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of BoI, responding to Al Dhaheri. “We also welcome the technology transfer, including that of your green energy and solar panels tech,” added Dr. Jayaweera, himself a one-time chemical engineer from Sydney. Al Dhaheri, a serial entrepreneur, shaped major real estate and development deals in both emerging and developed markets and was responsible for continuously expanding a successful global real estate portfolio for two decades as the Director of Real Estate Department of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the world. Al Dhaheri runs more than a dozen companies operating in financial services, construction, building material supplies, transportation and real estate management and is a Board Member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce. Giangiordano, a Director of Green Technology at Midein Energy, is an experienced professional in energy management and in solar power (including in China). The UAE is the largest GCC trade and investment partner to Sri Lanka. Currently 52 UAE firms have actively collaborated at $ 130 m in BoI investments in Sri Lanka. In 2010 alone, the UAE, the largest foreign direct investor in Sri Lanka among GCC economies, invested $ 66 m in Sri Lanka. It already has the bilateral Double Tax Avoidance Agreement with Sri Lanka and has also expressed its keenness to sign a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements (BIPA) with Sri Lanka. During his June 2013 visit to UAE’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Deputy Minister Musthapha met top members of the chamber and had discussions – amongst them were Rashed S.J. Al Suwaidi, Omair S Bin Arrar Dhaheri, Chairman Omair S Al Dhaheri and Deputy Director General – Helal M. Bin Fadel Al Hameli and several other members of the chamber.