Bethlehem, May 21, 2008: Bayti Real Estate Investment Company (Bayti) announced today an increase in its capital sufficient to launch and complete the construction of 5,000 affordable housing units in the first Palestinian planned community, the town of Rawabi. Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (Qatari Diar) will provide the additional capital and together with Massar International, which founded Bayti last year, will develop and construct the new town. The significance of Qatari Diar, a regional leader in major real estate development, joining forces with Massar is widely viewed as an unequivocal endorsement of the project"s viability and its anticipated added value for Palestinian quality of life.
Qatari Diar"s CEO, Mr. Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad, traveled to Palestine to sign a partnership agreement with Massar International"s Chairman Bashar F. Masri in Bethlehem under the aegis of the Palestine Investment Conference. "Qatari Diar and our partner Massar International are truly committed to the advancement of the Palestinian economy and the welfare of the Palestinian people. Building Rawabi will create thousands of job opportunities as well as the chance for ordinary Palestinians to own their own home," al Saad stated.
The town of Rawabi will cost more than $350 million to build. Construction phases will span a 5-year period and ultimately, the town will be home to more than 40,000 residents.
Bayti, which is jointly owned by Qatari Diar and Massar International, will manage the Rawabi project in Palestine.
"Qatari Diar"s investment represents a true development milestone for Rawabi, specifically, and for the Palestinian economy as a whole. Massar is excited to partner with such a visionary investor who understands the risks involved and yet, remains deeply committed to the creation of better lives for Palestinians. Today, the Rawabi project officially moves from the drawing board to the implementation phase. Very soon, people will be able to witness tangible changes taking shape on the ground," stated Massar Chairman Masri.
The town of Rawabi is designed to attract Palestinians seeking affordable housing in a well-zoned, accessible environment, sheltered amid rolling hills with picturesque views. Rawabi will offer a true quality of life option well within the financial reach of young Palestinian families as well as Palestine"s rapidly growing class of single male and female working professionals.
The site for the new community is situated 9 km north of Ramallah, 3.5 km beyond Birzeit University and approximately 25 km from Nablus. The area is currently under the control of the Palestinian Authority. When the town is fully built, it will feature more than 5,000 apartment and townhome units housing up to 25,000 residents. Additional residential and commercial units slated for subsequent construction phases will ultimately serve a town with a population of 40,000. Surrounded by seven villages within a one-kilometer radius, the town of Rawabi and its commercial infrastructure will attract patrons from these villages and more in the surrounding environs.
Rawabi"s residential areas will be constructed around a central commercial area, which will feature a pedestrian promenade for shops and restaurants. Banks, groceries, medical offices and professional service providers will also be situated within the commercial district. The town will feature schools, community playgrounds, walking trails, a hospital, a hotel and a movie theater.
QATARI DIAR Real Estate Investment Company www.qataridiar.com
QATARI DIAR is fully owned by the Qatar Investment Authority and was founded to support Qatar"s rapidly expanding economy and to provide structure and quality control for the country"s real estate development priorities.
Capitalized at US$1 billion, QATARI DIAR has the investment resources to be truly innovative and forward thinking. The company is founded on the world"s best practice project development and management disciplines, enabling it to impact on the built environment to enrich and enhance the quality of life of the communities it serves. The company has 18 projects underway.
In addition to the Rawabi project, QATARI DIAR is building signature projects and facilitating vibrant new communities on an unprecedented scale. These range from the giant Lusail project in Qatar to the development of landmark resorts, such as Ras Al-Hadd eco-tourist resort in Oman, to recreating a kasbah in Al Houara, south of Tangier, to projects in exotic destinations such as the Seychelles and Cuba.
MASSAR INTERNATIONAL www.massar.com
Massar International is a holding company headquartered in Ramallah, Palestine that oversees and manages a network of 15 subsidiaries. Its core business activities are real estate development, financial and investment services, and corporate business development. The company was founded to promote sustainable economic development through private sector capacity building initiatives in Palestine. Today, Massar"s operational scope has expanded to include the MENA region as well as Eastern Europe.
The Massar International Real Estate Group develops residential housing projects, commercial properties, combined residential and recreational communities and other land use infrastructure projects for buyers from a variety of socio-economic strata. The company"s initial real estate development projects are extremely successful and have positioned Massar International to expand into additional countries in the region.