Syria approves large commercial centre

Filed on August 25, 2005

DAMASCUS (Syria) The government has approved a 6 billion Syrian pound ($120 million) project to build Syria''s largest commercial centre in the capital, Damascus, the government's Investment Bureau said yesterday.

An official at the bureau, who declined to be identified as he was unauthorised to speak to the media, said the project will include numerous office and residential towers and create an estimated 3,600 jobs. The project, called The Damascus World Commercial Centre, comprises a 50-storey hotel, a restaurant, a village, two 60-storey and two 40-storey office towers, two 40-storey apartment buildings, a shopping area, a theatre and a cinema.

The project will be implemented the Tigers Group, which is owned by Syrian expatriates in the United Arab Emirates. It will be open for investment by Syrian, Arab and other foreign investors.

Investment Bureau head Mustafa al-Kafri told the government's Al-Thawra newspaper that the project is the first approved in line with the 1991-issued Investment Law No. 10 to encourage foreign investment in Syria.

The law offers tax exemptions for up to 10 years and other facilities and incentives for Arab and foreign investors, like owning or leasing land and transferring capital money after five years of setting up their projects.

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