GFH signs $1.4b deals

DUBAI — Gulf Finance House, a leading MENA region Islamic investment bank, yesterday signed two official agreements with Government of Morocco to develop ‘Gateway to Morocco’ project in the kingdom.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 29 Jul 2006, 12:04 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:12 PM

With a total project value estimated at $1.4 billion, the first phase of ‘Gateway to Morocco’ will comprise two distinctive but complementary elements — Marrakech Equestrian City in Marrakech, and Cap Malabata Resort in Tangiers.

King Mohammed VI was also present during the signing ceremony which marks the entry of Gulf Finance House (GFH) into the Kingdom of Morocco. Chief Executive Officer and board member of GFH Esam Janahi gave briefing to the Morocco King and explained various features of the project.

Marrakech Equestrian City will be a mixed-use sporting, leisure and residential complex. Spread over a total area of 380 hectares at Marrakech, it will boast of a world-class horse racing track that will be supported by state-of-the-art stabling, veterinary facilities, and grandstands. Villas and apartments will be provided amidst spectacular landscaping and superlative waterways in the form of rivers and lakes.

Designed as a one-of-a-kind mixed-use tourism, commercial and residential destination on the Mediterranean coast, the Cap Malabatta Resort, located at Tangiers, will cover a total area of 129 hectares. It will feature cafes, galleries, exclusive shopping areas, marina, beach house, golf course, equestrian club and convention centre, as well as a range of residential and commercial accommodation.

The resort will also provide the international business community with an exclusive destination for corporate meetings, conventions and exhibitions.

MZ & Partners from Qatar are the architecture consultants and master planners for the ‘Gateway to Morocco’ project.

The project supports the vision of King Mohammed VI to strengthen and diversify Morocco’s rapidly growing economy, and the government’s efforts to attract foreign investment into the kingdom. The project will also have a positive impact on the social and economic framework of Morocco.

The investment also highlights the strong partnership between the Government and Gulf Finance House who shares its vision, and has the investment and infrastructure development experience and expertise to make this project a success.

Morocco has made great headway in opening the economy to foreign investment and trade, as well as introducing economic reforms that will encourage the continued growth of the economy. A direct result of these reforms has been the free trade agreements signed by Morocco with the European Union and the US.

Elaborating on the potential of Morocco and the key reasons for GFH’s investments in the kingdom, Chief Executive Officer and board member Esam Janahi, said: “Morocco’s pro-business environment, trade agreements with the European Union and the US, and its closeness to Europe, were key factors in our decision to invest in the kingdom.”

“Gateway to Morocco not only marks the bank’s entry into Morocco but is our first stepping stone in partnering with the government and contributing to infrastructure development initiatives in the kingdom,” he added.

“Morocco offers GFH an ideal gateway into the North African market, a key component of our regional expansion strategy. By capitalising on the rapid economic development in Morocco, this project will provide our clients and strategic partners with new attractive investment opportunities,” Janahi said.

The first phase of ‘Gateway to Morocco’, estimated at $1.4 billion, adds to GFH’s existing investment and project portfolio in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar, Kuwait, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Germany, Spain and France.

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