Dubai’s Burj Khalifa owner eyes Zim

Herald Reporter

THE owner of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Mahomed Alabbar, has set sights on investing in Zimbabwe with plans to build hotels and luxury apartments.

He is one of the leading businessmen in the Middle East and driving force behind Dubai’s economic growth, with interests spanning fashion, property, leisure and commodity sectors.

Mr Alabbar, who is reportedly building another skyscraper taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, met President Mnangagwa during his visit to the emirate last week.

President Mnangagwa, who is spearheading Zimbabwe’s foreign policy of being “open for business”, attended the World Governments Summit in Dubai last week.

President Mnangagwa in Dubai flanked by billionaire DAMAC chairman, one of Dubai’s largest property owners, Hussain Sajwani (white attire), Zimbabwe’s representative in Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo (next to President right) and Special Presidential Investment Advisor Dr Paul Tungwarara (far left in grey suit).

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Frederick Shava and other senior Government officials.

President Mnangagwa had a busy schedule in the Middle East, interacting with several investors scouting for mutually beneficial opportunities.

Posting on his X account during his visit to the summit in Dubai, the President said Vision 2030 means working with the world’s fastest growing economies.

“Excited to engage in meaningful discussions. To explore future scenarios, possibilities, and opportunities,” he said.

Special Presidential Investment Advisor Dr Paul

Tungwarara, who facilitated the President’s meeting with billionaire Mr Alabbar, said a number of top Dubai investors are keen on investing in Zimbabwe.

“Some big investments are coming to Zimbabwe following successful engagements between His Excellency, President Mnangagwa and several investors in Dubai. Among those keen are Mr Alabbar, among others who are coming to build hotels and apartments,” he said.

Mr Alabbar’s company, Emaar, is a public joint-stock company, listed on the Dubai Financial Market.

The firm has a valuation of US$16,8 billion as at August 2023 against a net asset valuation of US$37,6 billion as at December 2022 based on the valuation of assets done by a third party valuer.

In Dubai, President Mnangagwa also met billionaire and DAMAC chairman Hussain Sajwani.

Mr Sajwani, estimated to be worth about US$4,5 billion, is an Emirati businessman and the founder of the property development company, DAMAC Properties, and his private investment company, DAMAC Group.

Among some of the activities by the President in Dubai included touring Jebel Ali, the world’s largest man-made harbour where he discussed opportunities for enhancing trade and logistics co-operation between Zimbabwe and the UAE.

He also toured the Dubai Police Headquarters and held discussions with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs during which he expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality and productive exchanges.

President Mnangagwa also had a productive meeting with Dubai Marketing Commodity Centre officials at DMCC Headquarters where they discussed avenues for enhancing trade relations and exploring new opportunities for economic co-operation.

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