By Raissa Kasolowsky
Lack of progress on its projects in the North African country forces Emaar's move.
Dubai's Emaar Properties has closed its office in Algeria due to a lack of progress on its projects in the North African country, the company said on Saturday.
"Emaar created designs for key developments in the country and the master-plans were submitted to the authorities for necessary approval," Emaar said in a statement.
"Due to a lack of progress which is beyond the company's control, the office set up to drive these projects forward has now been closed," the company said.
In March 2008, Emaar and the Algerian government signed a protocol accord on the development of $20 billion worth of projects, the biggest ever property development in the country of 33 million people. Some major North African real estate projects have been delayed or quietly abandoned as firms hit by the global downturn retreat from a frontier market dogged by an opaque business environment and heavy bureaucracy.
Emaar Properties, which is building the world's tallest tower in Dubai where it still derives the bulk of its revenues, has been badly affected as the economic crisis brought a real estate boom in the emirate to a screeching halt. At the end of last year, its U.S. home builder John Laing Homes was forced to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the firm posted a 74 percent drop in first-quarter profit as the property slump hit sales and deliveries.
As the global downturn took hold, Emaar, along with other Gulf Arab property groups that had unveiled multi-billion-dollar deals in recent years, has been forced to focus on home markets or on foreign investments most likely to generate quick cash. Emaar did not state whether all of its projects in Algeria had now been cancelled, but said it was "open to investments in the country in line with its long term strategy of developing its projects in international markets."(Reuters)
Emaar was never more brilliant than when it concentrated on Dubai, its core business. Going on travels to Algeria, the States, places exotic has broadened the mind but contracted the bottom line. Come home to Momma, and do what you do best!