Qatar's Barwa to launch $4.9bn Golf City

Project in Lusail City will include 4,000 homes, Greg Norman-branded golf course
Qatar's Barwa to launch $4.9bn Golf City
Greg Norman, who has put his name to the golf course in Golf City.
By Reuters
Wed 23 May 2012 07:42 PM

Qatar's Barwa Real Estate Co plans to launch a QR18bn ($4.94bn) mixed-use Golf City project ahead of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday.

The project, located within the planned coastal Lusail City north of the capital Doha, will include 4,000 residential units and a golf course, and is expected to be ready by 2018, group chief executive Abdulla Al Subaie told Reuters in an interview.

The project will be financed through a combination of off-plan sales and subdevelopment, he said.

Residential demand in the Gulf Arab state is expected to increase as projects for the 2022 World Cup tournament come onstream, he added.

"The correction has stopped. We still have oversupply, but demand is picking up quarter by quarter. Its highly correlated with the award of big construction projects.

"The new projects to be awarded by the government will require many expats from outside to move to Qatar, and then demand will pick up significantly," Subaie said.

Last year, Barwa laid off approximately 90 employees in a restructuring move, sources said.

"The restructuring is going well. We have substantially reduced costs (as a result of the restructuring), and we are still reducing them. Now we are focusing on improving the operational side of the business," Subaie said, declining to comment on whether the firm would issue a dividend this year.

Qatari Diar, the property arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, owns a 45 percent stake in the firm.

Subaie said the company had no plans to issue a bond this year or next.

He said that over the past five years, the company has sold about 40 percent of its projects and retained the remaining 60 percent.

Qatar, the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter, has allocated 40 percent of its budget to 2016 to infrastructure projects.

The tiny Gulf state plans to spend $11bn on a new airport, $5.5bn on a deep-water seaport and $1bn on a transport corridor in Doha. It will spend an additional $20bn on roads.

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