With about 80 per cent of UAE investment (Dh8.5 billion)
in the real estate sector, UAE-based companies and
investors have exposure to sectors such as hospitality,
tourism and financial services. In addition, there are a
large number of private investors who own real estate
and financial assets in Lebanon.
With no immediate ceasefire in sight, the future of a
number of mega projects by UAE firms looks uncertain.
The leading UAE investments in Beirut's real estate
sector include Dh2.3 billion investment by Abu Dhabi
Investment House, Dh1.83 billion by the Dubai-based Al
Habtoor Group and about Dh1 billion exposure of Dubai
Islamic Bank in three Beirut real estate projects
through Deyar, its real estate subsidiary. While
property major Emaar has an estimated commitment of more
than Dh1 billion, Damac and Al Futtaim Group's projected
investments in Lebanon are estimated at Dh550 million
and Dh1.8 billion, respectively.
“During the first few days of the war, many UAE-based
investors were hopeful that the skirmishes would not
escalate into a protracted conflict. With the chances of
prolonged hostilities, many UAE-based companies will be
forced to rethink their Lebanon strategy,” said an
Although most investors are hopeful about the post-war
opportunities in Beirut, many are jittery about the
“No doubt, the war waged against Lebanon has a negative
impact on the economy and construction sector, but
Beirut Gate (ADIH's project) is still at a very early
stage of development. No construction has been done on
the plots of the project and hence there is no physical
damage. The project is active though we are monitoring
the situation very closely and have put in process a
continuous review of our marketing activities in line
with the developing situation in Lebanon,” Rashid Janahi,
CEO of Abu Dhabi Investment House told Khaleej Times.
The ADIH's Beirut Gate project is the downtown's largest
development project. Beirut Gate comprises seven plots
on 229,871 square feet and a built-up area of almost
1.9m square feet overlooking the landmark Martyrs'
Square at the heart of downtown Beirut. The project will
be a mixed-use commercial and residential area. The
company is hopeful that the situation would soon ease
and they could resume the project.
“Beirut has a history of resilience and has risen from
destruction several times in its history. Despite all
the hardships, crises and difficulties that Lebanon has
gone through over the past few decades, it always proved
remarkably capable of recovering and starting anew with
such amazing high morale and unbreakable persistence.
This makes us optimistic about the future of Lebanon and
our project Beirut Gate,” said Janahi.
Al Habtoor Group's investments include the Habtoor
Metropolitan, Metropolitan Palace, Habtoor Grand,
Metropolitan Park and Habtoor Village.
“At the moment people are dying in Lebanon daily and it
is not the right time to worry too much about future
business. People's security comes first. Therefore we
have sent most of our staff in Lebanon on leave, because
they need to care for their families in this difficult
time. As soon as the crisis is over and the situation
returns to normal, we will bring them back to work,”
said Mohammed Al Habtoor, CEO of Al Habtoor Group in a