Local Business

Arabtec hits five-year high on Dh5.7b Aqaba deal

Staff Report (muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com)
Filed on January 21, 2014
Arabtec hits five-year high on Dh5.7b Aqaba deal

Arabtec Holding Company on Monday hit five-year high mark on the Dubai Financial Market after its subsidiary, Arabtec Construction, secured a Dh5.7 billion ($1.55 billion) contract to build a themed entertainment resort in Aqaba, Jordan.

Construction work on the Red Sea astrarium project is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014. — supplied image

Construction work on the Red Sea astrarium project is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014. — supplied image

The mega project, which will generate around 4,000 jobs for Jordanians, boosts the construction firm’s project backlog to a record Dh40 billion.

The UAE’s largest builder surged 3.57 per cent and close the day at Dh3.48 after touching Dh3.49, the highest intraday level since October 2008, in a broadly positive market. About 306.75 million shares exchanged hands in brisk trading activity yesterday.

The Dubai Financial Market’s General Index rose 1.45 per cent at 3,669.83 points in heavy trading as volumes soared to 1.9 billion shares from 1.19 billion a day earlier. The real estate and construction firms contributed significant share in heavy trade as Union Properties, Deyaar and Drake and Scull noted brisk trading in their shares.

The Abu Dhabi market also sustained the upward trend and closed 0.18 per cent up at 4,569.98 points.

According to a statement, Arabtec Construction has been selected to execute a Dh5.7 billion contract for construction of the Red Sea Astrarium, an integrated entertainment, hospitality, and leisure development. Construction work on the project is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014, with the third quarter of 2017 targeted as the soft opening date.

“Apart from its high value and significant contribution to our long term investment, which will translate in sustainable returns to our shareholders, this project provides further recognition of Arabtec as a leading international provider of complex mixed-use developments,” Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, managing director and chief executive of Arabtec Holding, said in a statement to Khaleej Times. “This contract is really the continuation of all the right things the company has done in 2013,” Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, a senior analyst at NBAD Securities LLC, told Bloomberg. The size of the project backlog is also “very impressive,” he said. Arabtec is working in Jordan on the St. Regis Amman hotel and the Saraya Aqaba development, which includes hotels and offices, it said in the statement.

The Astrarium will provide significant boost to the tourism industry in Jordan, in addition to significant economic benefits for nearby communities and businesses. The themed entertainment park will be home to four leading international hotels offering over 2,000 rooms. These include a themed boutique hotel, a five-star hotel, a family leisure hotel, and a hotel specialising in meetings and conferences.

The entertainment park will also feature authentic and modern retail, dining and entertainment waterfronts overlooking a man-made lagoon and constituting the cultural and social hearts of the Astrarium. The waterfronts will have a number of unique entertainment attractions including a 4D cinema.

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