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Tue 23 Jul 2019 04:07 PM

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Mohamed Alabbar says 'looking east' as China flexes its muscles

Businesses should start looking east, says Emaar Properties chairman, as the best is yet to come for 'great' China

Mohamed Alabbar says 'looking east' as China flexes its muscles
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties.

Businesses should start looking east, says Mohamed Alabbar,  chairman of Emaar Properties, as the best is yet to come for "great" China.

Alabbar made the comments to state news agency WAM after announcing that Emaar's $11 billion mega-project with Beijing Daxing International Airport will be completed in 10 years.

His company has also announced that it will open an office in Beijing in an attempt to expand its business activities in China.

"If you read China’s recent history, you will figure that it’s not only about the size of the country. The strong growth and development in China in terms of quality and economic growth have influenced the whole world," Alabbar was quoted as saying by WAM.

"Now there is a belief that what is coming [next from China] is bigger, whether that means economic or technological development," he added.

He also praised the Chinese people, saying that their "commitment and dedication at work" are different than other people.

"That’s why we are learning [from them] and sharing [our experiences with them]," he said.

Alabbar urged businesses to "look east" for business opportunities, instead of what he said was the norm, the "north and west".

"You can see the greatness of this country [China], and I’m not talking about population here, but the recent changes in all fields," he said.

"We are Asians, therefore, there’s more closeness between us and them, along with the historic closeness between the UAE and China," he added.

On Monday, Alabbar gave an update on a plan to develop a five square kilometre area of the 50 sq km airport on the sidelines of the visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China.

In May, Emaar signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing New Aeropolis Holdings (BNA) to jointly develop the business and tourism complex, which will integrate retail, entertainment, office, hotel hospitality, convention, sport, art and lifestyle functions in a one-stop solution in Beijing.

The project will be located within the Aero-Economic Area of Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is set to be the largest airport in the world.

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