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UAE Country Report - Ssangyong Going Strong
By Kim Yon-se
Staff Reporter

Ssangyong Engineering & Construction is strengthening its position as one of the globally preeminent construction companies with its high technology and expertise accumulated from building a variety of deluxe hotels at home and abroad.

An overseas construction masterpiece in Ssangyong Engineering’s portfolio includes the Dubai Emirates Towers Hotel, which together with the Hyatt comprise the top two hotels in the UAE.

The decision to enter the growing Middle East made financial sense for Ssangyong. The UAE, which is currently enjoying a huge wealth inflow from oil exports, is expected to invest as much as $180 billion in the construction arena by 2010.

Dubai Emirates Towers Hotel has been named as the Best Hotel in the Middle East by Business Traveler Magazine from Germany for the second year in a row.

The hotel, part of the Dubai based Jumeirah International Luxury Hospitality Group, received the accolade at the annual Business Traveler Awards ceremony in Frankfurt.

The 400-room hotel which is 305 meter-high and the third tallest hotel in the world while the adjacent Office Tower, at 350 meter-high is the tallest building in the Middle East.

Emirates Towers Hotel has been winning awards since it first dominated the Dubai skyline on completion three years ago.

Ssangyong Engineering has completed 121 overseas construction projects in 17 countries since 1977, but suffered a turbulent time during the Asian financial crisis from 1998. Now fully recovered and revamped, it is rapidly expanding its operations in Southeast Asia and India this year.

Ssangyong won orders worth $400 million in countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and India until August, which is almost equivalent to one third of the firm’s total revenue last year.

What symbolizes Ssangyong’s comeback story the best is winning the $130 million Plaza Indonesia Extension project in July, which was earned by beating out Shimizu, a Japanese powerhouse, in the bidding.

“We had completed the first phase of Plaza Indonesia in 1991, which was the largest building project in Indonesia.

From the same employer, we won a new project right next to the previous building,” a company official said. “It was the trust we have built over the past years that won the contract.”

Ssangyong’s reputation as a seasoned veteran in the global construction scene was not earned overnight. The company built the famous Raffles City complex in Singapore from 1980 to 1985, which includes then the world’s tallest hotel, the 73-story Westin Stamford.


MoU for Construction Projects in UAE signed

Saudi Press Agency 

Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the eldest son of the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Pakistani entrepreneur Mohsin Habib Waraich have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for multi-billion dollar construction projects in UAE, says an official statement.

Formation of a company for the venture and related legal requirements are already in process, with the office to be established in Abu Dhabi in a building belonging to Sheikh Sultan.

According to the MoU, Sheikh Sultan will hold 51 percent stake and Waraich 49 percent in the company, which will undertake projects in UAE with primary focus on Abu Dhabi.

The company would be targeting the work in Aldar city in Abu Dhabi, a project worth 40 billion dollars, and it would also be investing in Pakistan in the real estate sector.

The member of the UAE royal family has shown interest to employ skilled workers from Pakistan and has already suggested sites for their accommodation with high standard facilities.

Sheikh Sultan has also shown keen interest to invest in Pakistan. He has finalized a commercial venture in Karachi and plans enterprises next in Lahore and Islamabad.

The MoU signing at the Dubai palace of Sheikh Sultan was attended by lawyers from both sides as well as Sheikh Sultan's advisor James Gillar, a Czech billionaire, who has also shown interest to invest in Pakistan.

Waraich, during a meeting with Sheikh Sultan, welcomed him to visit Pakistan and discussed the numerous investment opportunities in real estate and other sectors in Pakistan.

He emphasized that Pakistan's economy was firmly placed on the path of sustainable high growth as a result of the policies implemented by President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.



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