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Manazel launches Dh4b 'Building Materials City'


BY HASEEB HAIDER - Khaleej Times

ABU DHABI — Manazel Real Estate has launched a Dh4 billion 'Building Materials City' which will feature the first building materials exchange in the Middle East. It will also feature 49 skyrise residential and commercial towers, a hotel, 100,000 sq. metres shopping centre and other amenities.


 
"The construction work on the project will commence in January 2007 taking three years to complete," said Mohammed Mehanna Al Qubaisi, Chairman, Manazel Real Estate, during a presentation at the launching ceremony held here yesterday.

The ceremony was attended by government officials, businessmen from the property and construction industry.

Mohamed Mehanna Al Qubaisi said that the total cost of the project is estimated at Dh4 billion and will be located at a prime location between Musaffah Bridge and Mohammed Bin Zayed City — a five minutes drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

This will be the first building materials stock exchange in the Middle East with a four star hotel, 49 skyscrapers for residential and commercial purposes, a shopping mall of 100,000 sqm, showrooms for building materials and car parking for 15,000 cars. Al Qubaisi said that the project will become the hub of manufacturers, importers and suppliers of construction materials.

The ownership will be available for locals and foreigners who can enjoy long term lease hold. He pointed out that more than 80 per cent of the project was booked already and that it would be fully sold out before the end of this year.

Mohamed Mehanna Al Qubaisi said that this was a unique project. The project stands out with its full amenities, new modern designs, reasonable prices and financing facilities and implementation of international standards and specifications in construction.

The project will start in January 2007 and be completed within 36 months.

Al Qubaisi said that this project is one of the big projects offered by Manazel such as "Al Reef Villas" and "Dunes Village" which the company seeks to add to the UAE construction boom which requires modern methods and unique designs, construction, administration and marketing applying new technologies in construction and cooperation with local and international companies.
 


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Vale do Rio Doce studies new investment in the Arab world

 
After having sold its participation in Gulf Industrial Investment Company, in Bahrein, Brazilian mining company Vale do Rio Doce is now evaluating the possibility of building an iron ore pellet factory in Oman. The company signed an agreement considering this matter with the company that manages the Port of Sohar, in the Arab country.


Alexandre Rocha*

São Paulo - Brazilian mining company Vale do Rio Doce is going to study the possibility of making new investment in the Arab world. The mining company announced on Monday (20) the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Sohar Industrial Port Company (SIPC), which manages the Port of Sohar in Oman, with the objective of evaluating the construction of an iron ore pellet mill at the site.

According to Vale, if the project goes ahead, the factory should have a capacity for production of 7.5 million tonnes of pellets per year in the direct reduction process, which uses natural gas, abundant in the region, as fuel. The company forecasts the beginning of operations in 2010 and informs that it is going to supply 100% of the raw material to be used at the mill. The company has not, however, informed the estimated cost of the enterprise.

Vale also informed that with the project, they intend to supply the demand of "various steel and direct reduction projects in the Middle East that have recently been announced." The company added that its strategy also includes supporting the ironworks industry in the region, which is a great market in which the organisation has great operational experience.

If it materializes, this will not be the first direct investment operation executed by Vale in the Arab world. The company has already owned a 50% participation in Gulf Industrial Investment Company (GIIC), an iron pellet factory in Bahrain. The company's partner was Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), from Kuwait. The Brazilian company, however, sold its participation in the business in May this year, for US$ 418 million.

Vale has not disclosed its current volume of exports to the Middle East, where iron ore is one of the main products in the trade basket between Brazil and the Arab countries and the company is the main supplier of the product, both in Brazil and in the world. Another national mining company that has strong participation in the region is Samarco, a joint venture between Vale and BHP Billiton.

Export capacity is not lacking for Vale, which is the second main company in this area in Brazil, losing only to oil company Petrobras. From January to September this year, the company had gross revenues of US$ 12.87 billion, with US$ 4.32 billion coming from foreign sales, according to figures supplied by the federal government Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex).

The main producer and exporter of iron ore in the world, in October, Vale bought the Canadian Inco, which is specialized in nickel, and became the second greatest mining company in the world. With shares traded on the São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa), New York Stock Exchange and Madrid Stock Exchange (Latibex), the Brazilian company has a market value of around US$ 55 billion.

US$ 12 billion port

Sohar Industrial Port Company is the result of a joint venture between the government of Oman and the Port of Rotterdam, in Holland. The Port of Sohar is 220 kilometres northeast of Muscat, the capital of the Arab country. It is a recent enterprise that brings together transport and industrial infrastructure. The estimated investment for the site, according to the administration, should reach US$ 12 billion up to 2008.

According to the SIPC Internet site, when the whole capacity is installed, the port should generate 6,000 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs. The movement estimated for this year is 325 vessels, a figure that should rise to 600 in 2007 and 1,000 in 2008.

The Sultanate of Oman is on the far east of the Arabian Peninsula, at the entry into the Persian Gulf, through which a large volume of the oil traded in the world flows. The country has 2.8 million inhabitants and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 31 billion. The main sectors of the country's economy are production of oil and natural gas, ironworks, the textile industry and food.

Oman is one of the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the economic bloc that also includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The GCC is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the Mercosur.

Exports from Brazil to the Arab country generated US$ 45 million between January and October this year, according to information supplied by the Secex, an increase of 5% in comparison to the same period in 2005. The main products shipped were chicken, industrialized meat, chassis with engines for cargo vehicles, lorries and sugar.

Brazilian imports of products made in Oman, in turn, totalled US$ 578.7 million, presenting growth of almost 100% when compared to the same period last year. The main products shipped were plastic products.

*Translated by Mark Ament




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