DUBAI- On the sidelines of the official state visit by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, to Greece to promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries, and in the presence of Evangelos Venizelos, Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Abu Dhabi-based Al Maabar has announced that it has teamed up with the Latsis Group and Chinese firm, Fosun, to create Global Investment Group, a Luxembourg-based fund which will work with Lamda Development SA in the development of the former International Airport in Hellenikon, Athens. The €7 billion project is set to become the largest mixed-use development in Europe.
The 6.2 million sqm site will be developed over a number of years, with work expecting to begin in 2016. Its built up area of approximately 3 million sqm will include retail, residential, leisure, hotels and office space. The development offers 3.5km of coastline and a 2 million sqm metropolitan park, which will be one of the world’s largest.
H.E Yousif Al Nowais, Managing Director of Al Maabar said: “Entering the Greek market is a milestone for us at Al Maabar as we seek to strengthen our reach, broaden our portfolio and develop long-term partnerships.”
He added: “Our business model is designed in a way that we look for opportunities that will ensure sustainable economic benefits for both the development’s host country, and the UAE. Working with our partners, we’re confident that this 6.2 million sqm Hellenikon project will contribute to Athens’ economic growth, bridge cultures and regenerate the surrounding communities.”
Al Maabar estimates that approximately up to 30,000 jobs will be created during the development phase, and when complete, 50,000 new jobs are expected to have been created.
Odysseas Athanasiou, CEO of Lamda Development, said: ‘’Hellinikon is a transformational project for Greece which will provide substantial impetus for the country’s further development and growth. We are proud to be working with Al Maabar and Fosun in this milestone project that has attracted substantial international interest.’