Emaar launches $3bn ‘Erbil Downtown’ project

Updated 28 December 2013
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Emaar launches $3bn ‘Erbil Downtown’ project

ARBIL, Iraq: Emaar Properties launched a $3 billion development in Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
The “Erbil Downtown” project is due to be completed in three stages over a period of around five years, or potentially sooner if market conditions are favorable, the company’s chairman said.
“It will touch around $3 billion,” Mohamed Alabbar said when asked about the project’s value.
The development will cover an area of 541,000 square meters near the city center and include residential apartments, hotels and a shopping center.
Kurdistan has largely managed to insulate itself from the violent instability that has afflicted the rest of Iraq and has attracted foreign investment, particularly in the energy sector.
Emaar, which reported a 50 percent rise in its third-quarter net profit last week, has expanded in the region after a property market slowdown in Dubai, which followed the global economic crisis.
The developer has also launched projects in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other countries.


Unaoil’s former Iraq partner pleads guilty to bribery

Updated 19 July 2019
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Unaoil’s former Iraq partner pleads guilty to bribery

  • It is the first guilty plea to result from a three-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into suspected bribery and money laundering
  • Unaoil is a Monaco-based oil and gas firm

LONDON: The former partner in Iraq for Unaoil, a Monaco-based oil and gas consultancy, has pleaded guilty to five counts of bribery in the first conviction in a three-year criminal investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Basil Al Jarah, 70, pleaded guilty on July 15 to conspiring to give corrupt payments in connection with the award of contracts to supply and install single point moorings and oil pipelines in southern Iraq, the SFO said.
Al Jarah’s conviction, which comes six months before three other defendants in the case face a criminal trial in London, was announced after a judge lifted reporting restrictions in a pre-trial hearing on Friday, the SFO said.
Ziad Akle, Unaoil’s former territory manager for Iraq and Stephen Whiteley and Paul Bond, who worked for Dutch-based oil and gas services company SBM (Offshore), have pleaded not guilty.
Akle, 44, has been charged with three offenses of conspiracy to make corrupt payments. Bond, a 67-year-old former senior sales manager with SBM (Offshore), and Whiteley, a 64-year-old former vice president of SBM (Offshore) and one-time Unaoil general territories manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan and Angola, each face two counts.
Sam Healey, a lawyer at JMW Solicitors who is representing Whiteley, said his client “strenuously denied” all alleged offenses.
“Mr Whiteley co-operated fully with the SFO as they opened their enquiries and will rigorously defend the charges,” he said.
Lawyers for Al Jarah and Bond declined to comment. A lawyer for Akle was not immediately available for comment.
A spokeswoman for Unaoil declined to comment, while SBM Offshore has said it is company policy to not comment on past or current employees.