Emaar and Eagle Hills link up with Sharjah’s Shurooq

Emaar and Eagle Hills have formed a new property venture with Sharjah’s Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).

Shurooq said the project would support the emirate’s economic expansion plans.

The newly formed company, Omran Properties, will seek to “develop investment, commercial, industrial and real estate projects and beyond”, with an initial focus on real estate development, shopping malls and hospitality.

Omran’s formation comes at a time of economic expansion for Sharjah, even as rents across the emirate decline in line with neighbouring Dubai.

“We will seek through the new company to solidify relations based on trust and help devĀ­elop and grow investments in the UAE, and Sharjah in particular, capitalising on Emaar’s exceptional experience in property development and management of shopping malls, retail trade, and the hospitality and leisure industry,” said Shurooq’s chairwoman Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi.

Shurooq will own 34 per cent of Omran’s capital, while Emaar and Eagle Hills will each hold a 33 per cent stake. The new developer will be headquartered in Sharjah, with the prospect of other offices opened in other international locations.

Shurooq is a government body tasked with promoting Sharjah as an investment, tourist and business destination, as well as acting as the developer of several high-profile tourism and heritage projects.

A spokeswoman for the Sharjah entity said that Omran would not be involved in Shurooq’s existing development portfolio in the emirate, which includes the Al Badayer Desert Camp and Al Noor Island.

Omran Properties marks the first UAE-based partnership between Emaar and Eagle Hills, following a series of collaborations between the two in locations including Bahrain, Nigeria and Serbia.

The Emaar chief executive Mohamed Alabbar serves on the board of Eagle Hills, which has hired several Emaar staff since it began operations in April 2014.

“We are confident that investments and projects undertaken by Omran will have a good impact on increasing the performance of key development sectors in Sharjah,” said Mr Alabbar.

However the new joint venture comes at an uncertain time for Sharjah’s real estate market, as rents follow the downward trend of neighbouring Dubai.

The property consultant Cluttons reported last month that average rents in Sharjah fell for the first time in more than two years during last year’s third quarter, as employees of Dubai-based companies were coaxed back by more affordable rents.

The ratings agency S&P forecasts that Sharjah’s economy grew by 3.5 per cent in 2015, down from 5.5 per cent in 2014, in line with similar figures at a nationwide level.


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