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Tue 31 Oct 2006 08:00 PM

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Beirut beckons

Three months after the Israeli-Hezbollah war destroyed parts of Beirut and Southern Lebanon, CEO Middle East looks at two multi-million dollar properties that could play a major role in bringing foreign investment back into the area


Being developed by Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) at a cost of US $600 million, Beirut Gate will be built on eight prime land spots and comprise of an integrated commercial and residential sea view project. Spread over 21,448 metres, the development will overlook the famous Martyrs’ Square of Lebanon, downtown Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. Set in Beirut’s central district commonly known as Solidere, the development will be in close proximity to the Foch-Allenby area famed for its historical architecture blending Ottoman, Italian and French styles, and will be near to the predominantly shopping area, the New Souks. Investors keen to cash in on the well-positioned property need look no further than ADIH’s US $160 private placement fund.

An ideal opportunity for investors to capitalise on the recovering Lebanese real estate industry, the fund will be used to develop the first phase of the project and expects to offer a 37.5% return on investment over 18 months. Following a minimum subscription in the placement of US $100,000, subsequent investments can be made in tranches of US $50,000, with proceeds being used to pay for land, master-planning and architectural design. “We are excited that this project is ready to proceed and we are sure (it) will provide a major boost for the people of Beirut and the economy of Lebanon,” says Nicholas Fraser, executive director of real estate at ADIH.

“It will be an exceptional project and we are confident that it has long-term value which will deliver healthy and sustained returns to investors,” he adds. The project will be developed by an impressive team of experts including French architect Christian de Portzamparc of New York’s legendary LVMH towers fame and well known US-based architectural company, Arquitectonica. Local parties involved in Beirut Gate include popular Lebanese architect Nabil Gholam and Lebanese engineering, consulting and construction management business Erga Group. Dr. Nasser Chammaa, chairman of Solidere, the company responsible for developing Beirut city centre, says: “This massive project is an important display of confidence in Beirut and a huge boost for the economy of Lebanon and Beirut city centre.”

“Beirut city centre will remain an attractive and profitable magnet for real estate investment,” he adds. With the initial development of the project currently underway, it could be time for you to strengthen your assets while helping the Lebanese economy get back on its feet.


Endorsed by former New York fashion model turned international entrepreneur Ivana Trump, the latest large-scale venture from Dubai property giants Damac will bring super-luxury dwellings to the bustling centre of the Lebanese capital.

With the US $150 million (AED 551 million) project due for completion in the first quarter of 2010, La Residence will house 27 storeys of ultra-laborious freehold apartments complete with smart home technology and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Available in one, two and three bedroom apartments along with duplexes and penthouses, the properties will have access to a 24 hour concierge service, designer boutiques, plush restaurants and cafes, an exotic sauna and Jacuzzi and a temperature controlled swimming pool. Located at the prime intersection of Omar Daouk and Fekhreddine Streets, La Residence is expected to become the most luxurious real estate option within the walls of the Lebanese capital.

Peter Riddoch, CEO of Damac properties says: “Ivana Trump contributed significantly to the design of the tower that is due to illustrate optimum luxury with its stunning architecture, its state of the art amenities as well as its location at the heart of the dazzling Beirut city centre.” Emphasising the rich culture of the 5000-year-old city, Riddoch adds that Damac’s new project stems from the rise to prominence of Beirut as a destination for business and tourism citizens from all over the world.

With a design that, according to its creators, “exudes grace and style”, each apartment in the property will boast opulent decor with marble and wooden flooring, and will be served by a bank-grade home security and surveillance system including video phone entry. Those with time on their hands can wile away the hours in the designer stores (including an exclusive Ivana Trump boutique), fine dining restaurants, cafes and marts. The property is also well positioned for residents looking to explore vibrant Beirut city and beyond.

La Residence will be located just a stroll away from the renovated Place de l’Etoile area and the famous Phoenicia hotel, while the corniche and snow-clad Lebanese mountains are merely a short drive away.

For the chief executive raising a family, the property will have house keeping services, ample car parking space and a children’s play area. Prices for apartments within the development range from US $678,000 (AED 2.5 million) for a one-bedroom property covering 230 sq ft to US $2.3 million (AED 8.4 million) for a three-bedroom apartment stretching over 344 sq ft.

With global projects worth more than US $4 billion, Damac has had a busy year in vying to become a multi-national developer. As well as La Residence, the company launched a US $3.5 billion mixed-use project within the Trumpet Bay region located in the Tanggu District, Tianjin in China, and a US $400 million, 14-building real estate venture within Lusail’s Fox Hills community in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The developer also recently announced that two of its four projects in the Jordanian capital Amman, worth US $150 million (AED 551 million), had sold out — with one 35-storey tower selling out in less than a month and another in just two months. And, according to Damac’s sales office, 70% of the La Residence property has already been sold since it came onto the market in June this year, so those looking to snap up a piece of the region’s own Trump tower, should act fast.