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Aldar enters Kazakhstan with project in Astana

By Himendra Mohan Kumar, Gulf News, Oct 31, 2007

Aldar Properties, one of the largest companies by market capitalisation in the UAE, yesterday announced its entry into Kazakhstan with the launch of Abu Dhabi Plaza in the capital city Astana at a ceremony attended by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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"The Kazakh president was very pleased with the quality of the project," Aldar chairman Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh told Gulf News.

He said the proposed project will include 90,000 square metres of commercial space, 598 residential units in an 88 storey tower, a retail space of 111,000 square metres and two hotels.

"The multi-use project will be jointly executed by the Aldar-Al Maabar consortium," said Al Sayegh, adding that it would be their second overseas joint project after Malaysia.

"Aldar Properties estimates this project to have a four-year construction period and the subsequent estimated completion date is 2011," he said.

"The development will set new benchmarks for accommodation standards, work and leisure facilities, but will be within the current level of living expenses and disposable income available to the Kazakhs," said Al Sayegh. "This development will expand the Special Economic Zone in Astana. The Abu Dhabi Plaza development is a catalyst for the city of Astana to further develop its economy and bring business interest into the nation."

Asked why the company selected Astana for project development, Al Sayegh said: "The UAE and Kazakhstan have a very strong political relationship. We feel very welcomed here."