Florida SoBe Developer Plans to Invest in Pakistan Real Estate

World's tallest building for Karachi is back on track with Bahria Town's Malik Riaz signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with German-American real estate tycoon Thomas Kramer. Riaz brought in Kramer after his earlier deal with Abu Dhabi Group collapsed soon after signing about three weeks ago. Both Riaz and Kramer have an established track record for developing upscale properties; Riaz in Pakistan and Kramer in Florida and Germany.

The $20 billion plan is to develop 12,000 acres of land over a period of 10 years on Bundal & Buddo Islands about 3 kilometers from Karachi's Clifton district. The first residential  units be completed as early as 2016. In addition to housing, the plans also include world’s tallest building, world’s largest shopping mall, mosques, cinemas, spas, golf courses, schools and hospitals, all with modern amenities and associated infrastructure. The two islands will be connected with each other and the mainland by a six-lane bridge. The entire city will be a “high security zone”, with its own desalination and power generation plants to enable it to be self sufficient for water and power.  

South Beach, Florida, USA

Speaking to the media after signing the MOU, Thomas Kramer said, “I have full confidence in the people and economy of Pakistan. In 1970 when I started my project in Germany it was the worst era of their history. Likewise when Miami Beach project was started, the area was in full control of Cuban criminals, different mafias and gangsters. Dead bodies used to be scattered on the beaches. I completed my projects successfully. Today they are the world’s most secure and advanced regions. Current situation in Pakistan is much better than those areas. Further I am confident that this project along with boosting the economy will also eradicate terrorism from Pakistan. This is a once in a lifetime chance to bring Pakistan back on the map to the leading nations in the world.”

Sharing the podium with Kramer, Bahria Town's Malik Riaz said, “Our slogan is ‘Bahria Town Commits – Bahria Town Delivers’ and Alhamdulillah we have fulfilled all our promises made with Pakistan and Pakistanis. We know that the construction sector has played a key role in transforming the USA, Malaysia, Japan, Turkey and Germany into developed nations. In the same manner, Insha Allah, Pakistan will also become a developed nation, which is our vision. This project will not only provide 2.5 million jobs but will help revive 55 national industries and provide housing to 1 million Pakistanis. It will also help eliminate terrorism and crimes.”

Back in 2008, there was a lot of excitement in Pakistan when  Dubai developer Emaar announced a massive real estate project valued at $43b to develop two island resorts near Karachi. That investment never materialized. More recently, the deal between Abu Dhabi Group and Bahria Town also fell through even before it got off the ground. This latest deal is an indication that Malik Riaz is now more determined than ever to realize this dream of his. Is third time the charm? Let's wait and see!

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Riaz Haq said…
Here's the latest from The News on DHA City Karachi (DCK) project:

The environmental impact public hearing of the much-ambitious residential-cum-commercial DHA City project will be conducted on April 2. The Defence Housing Authority had performed ground-breaking of this project on Super Highway and started physical activities for development works more than a year ago.

The DHA City project being described by the developers as the country’s first sustainable green city is situated around 56 kilometres away from the city on Karachi-Hyderabad Super Highway in Gadap Town at the eastern border of Karachi, bordering Thatta District in south and Jamshoro District in east. The site covers approximately 11,640 acres (47.10 sq kilometres), offering around 53,000 plots for accommodation to around 600,000 people.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sindh, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the DHA City project, submitted by the Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority, indentifies potential environmental impacts and provides mitigation measures to minimize the impacts on flora, fauna, topography, and other environmental and physical features of the project site and surrounding areas that are mostly hilly and barren tracts of land.

The public hearing will be conducted by the EPA at 11 am on April 2 at Hotel Regent Plaza, Karachi, where the project’s proponents will provide complete details of the DHA City Karachi (DCK) project through presentation. The general public, concerned citizens, civil society organisations and all other stakeholders are likely to attend the public hearing in large numbers, where they will be presenting their points of view, concerns and reservations regarding the phenomenal environmental effects on the suburban areas concerned due to the construction of the massive housing-cum-commercial project.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the DHA City held at its site on 22 February, 2012; the then DHA Administrator, Brig Aamer Raza Qureshi, had said that work on 13 projects, including the construction of DCK boundary wall, entrance gate, security towers, arterial roads, composite offices/accommodation complex and DCK Information Centre had been started at a cost of Rs one billion and it would take 12 months to make DCK site fully operational.

He had also said that three to five million gallons daily water would be made available through the ongoing underground water exploration, which would be sufficient to meet the DHA City requirements up till 2020.

Chief Project Consultant, Engineer Arif Osmani, had said that the work on the development of five residential sectors, including roads network, parks, green spaces, schools, mosques and all basic amenities would be started under the short-term development plan and the same would be completed in three to four years to make DHA City Karachi a livable entity by the year 2015-16....

Riaz Haq said…
Here's Emirates 247 story on Malik-Kramer deal:

A Pakistani businessman is taking cue from Dubai to build a master development that will boast of an education, net and health clusters to even the world’s tallest tower and largest shopping mall.

Bahrain Town Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Ali Riaz Malik and US real estate tycoon Thomas Kramer have recently signed a $20 billion agreement to develop Bundal & Bodha Islands, Karachi - Pakistan’s first ever island city.

Sharing project details with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the News International quoted Malik as saying the Bodha Island City project will comprise Net City, Education City, Health City, Port City and other infrastructure projects would have the world’s most modern shopping mall.

In a statement, the company said a joint consortium of international investors, including Middle East, will soon join hands to develop the project.

Covering 12,000 acres of land, this project will be developed in a span of five to 10 years with the residential communities being handed over to from 2016. The global attractions of the project include world’s tallest building, world’s largest shopping mall, sports city, educational and medical city, international city and a media city, all having the most modern facilities & amenities and the most advanced infrastructure.

Island City will be connected to Defense Housing Authority Karachi via a six-lane modern bridge. The entire city will be a “high security zone”, having its own drinking water (converting sea-water into drinking water) and power generation plants to enable it to be self sufficient for power.

The project will have mosques, cinemas, spas, golf clubs, school, hospital and other global standard amenities to furnish a modern lifestyle.

Dubai has already been successfully running purpose-build business clusters such as Internet City, Media City, Health City and Knowledge Village for years now. These clusters are free zones, which offer 100 per cent ownership, no tax on corporate gains or personal incomes, 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits and exemption from import and export duties.

Riaz Haq said…
Here's some history and critique of the Bahria Town deal by former Karachi mayor as published in PakistanToday:

KARACHI - While the Bahria Town management has inked agreements to build an Island City on an island located in Sindh province, former Karachi city nazim Naimatullah Khan came on television screens saying that the same island was to be developed in to Karachi Technology Island City (KTIC) according to an agreement signed in October 2002.
Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, the former city nazim said that news about the development of Bundle Island had been going on for some time and the general public was informed that it was an ideal project for providing employment to the youth and economic development of the metropolitan in particular and Sindh in general.
Naimatullah said that he KTIC project was initiated by the presently defunct City District Government Karachi (CDGK), Army Welfare Trust (AWT), Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA), Access Capital and EDP services, adding that an MoU was signed on 7th October, 2002 between the parties and was the ceremony witnessed in Karachi by former federal minister for science and technology Prof Dr Attaur Rehman.
He further said that media reports of development of the island by Bahria Town and an American company was just a construction project which would only generate low level menial jobs and create housing/recreation facilities for the ultra-rich, whereas the IT City project would generate much greater number of high value jobs and economic activity on the pattern of Dubai Internet City and Banglore’s own ‘Silicon Valley’ in India.
Furthermore, Naimatullah said that a few years ago another government gave the island to Emaar, an Arabian construction company, without looking at the viability of the project. Thus the project had to be abandoned, he added. This new project was also similar to the previous projects which were initiated to grab prime land for personal purpose and a comparison of both projects could be made very easily, he said.
The project involved the conversion of an offshore island near Karachi into a high tech city where international technology companies could house their development/processing centres using huge technical human resource of Pakistan to market their products in the Middle East, Central Asia and Far Eastern countries. Over 1,200 acres just off the coast of DHA Golf Course have been allocated for the mentioned project.
KTIC would benefit the future generations by creating massive employment opportunities for engineers, IT specialists, business graduates, doctors and scientists while it would also generate mega economic activity, capable of establishing Pakistan as the technology hub of the entire region, Naimatullah opined.
“The federal and provincial governments are requested to please initiate KTIC project immediately and if someone is interested in the development including Bahria Town or Emaar, they should contact and join hands with Naimatullah Khan and his team to structure a more viable and beneficial project of Karachi Technology Island City. We also intend to file an application at the Sindh High Court to be a part of the said petition,” he demanded.
The chief executive officer, EDP Services and former chairman of Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA) Syed Hamza Matin was also present on the occasion.

Riaz Haq said…
Egyptian billionaire ventures into Pakistan's real estate with $2b project
By Bilal MemonPublished: December 22, 2017


Pakistan is set to see a new real estate venture – this time in the federal capital – as demand for housing keeps motivating projects across different parts of the country.

The $2-billion project, named Eighteen Islamabad based on its location, was formally launched in Islamabad on Friday and is a partnership between Egypt-based Ora Developers and Saif Group, the Pakistani conglomerate with business interests largely in textile, energy and real estate sectors. Additionally, Kohistan Builders and Developers is also partaking in the project.

Spread across 2.77 million square yards that will also feature a 18-hole golf course, the project will look to sell over 2,000 residential units – 1,068 villas of different sizes and over 900 apartments – along with commercial properties, meant to serve the upper-middle income groups.

The project also brings Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris back to Pakistan after Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding, in which he has a majority stake and is also the chairman, had acquired Mobilink before the company sold its stake to VimpelCom.

Sawiris, however, is now on a different mission to Pakistan.

“I was here around 20 years ago when we started Mobilink,” said Sawiris, the chairman of Ora Developers, as he addressed a gathering of journalists at Serena Hotel.

“We wanted to continue our business in Pakistan and as we ventured out of telecom we thought of real estate development because I was horrified at the prices people were paying for villas and apartments in Islamabad,” he continued, referring to the phenomenally high prices of real estate in Pakistan that have continued to shoot in the last few years.

According to a World Bank estimate, there is a shortage of 10 million housing units in Pakistan, a deficit that continues to grow in urban areas. With population growth at 2%, the shortage will keep piling.

Sawiris said his aim would be to expand to other cities including Karachi and Lahore, but the challenge would be to find land in the provincial capitals.

“Land availability is the biggest issue facing the real estate sector in the country. Until the issue is resolved, challenges will remain.”

The $2-billion project features a 30% component of equity, to be injected by the investors, along with a 30% stake to be financed with major banks in Pakistan. Talks of these modalities are ongoing, said Eighteen Islamabad Chief Executive Officer Tarek Hamdy.

He also said no-objection certificates have been obtained from the Capital Development Authority in Islamabad and transfer deeds will be given to buyers since Eighteen Islamabad owns the land already.

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