Abu Dhabi-based Bloom Properties have announced the signing of a contract for a major development along the banks of Lake Razaza in Karbala, Iraq.
Bloom, the property development and real estate arm of National Holding, said the deal has been signed with the Iraqi National Investment Commission and the Governorate of Karbala.
The 20 sq km Shores of Karbala project will include close to 40,000 homes distributed among four districts and will be built over eight years.
It will be home to a population of nearly 250,000 people and the four districts will comprise villas, townhouses, apartments, hotels, business centres, open markets, commercial offices, clinics and dispensaries, schools, mosques, public parks, children's playgrounds, government, social and sports facilities, as well as restaurants, cafes and related infrastructure.
Following the signing ceremony, Nouri Al Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, laid the foundation stone for the project.
Dr Sami Al Araji, chairman of National Investment Commission, Iraq said: "The project will contribute to the urban planning development of Karbala. Our strategy is to take the holy city to a new level by improving the distribution of population density and urban centres and shaping it into a vibrant metropolis.
"Karbala will also comprise multiple modern centres that will be complemented by the establishment of a series of ecosystems. This is in line with our strategy to augment landscaping areas across all plots."
Simon Azzam, CEO of Bloom Properties, added: "With the signing of this contract, we are set to commence work on the preliminary planning phase.
"This is one of the largest real estate projects in Iraq and will be developed on several phases taking into consideration high quality standards suitable for such a project. The Shores of Karbala will cater to all sections of the society and it will offer will offer significant investment opportunities, which in turn help generate considerable job opportunities for Iraqis. "
According to the terms of the contract, initial work will include the surveying of land, issuance of licences and obtaining the preliminary approvals.
Bloom will also work on submitting the final detailed master plan in line with the blueprint initially presented to the National Investment Commission and the Governorate of Karbala.