‘We are in the process of shortlisting companies and a final shortlist will be presented to the board by mid-July,’ says Anas Kozbari, chief executive officer and managing partner of IGO, an offshore investment company set up by expatriate Syrian investors.

The project will be divided into three zones, including a commercial centre, a waterfront and a residential area.

To be located in the Yafour area of Damascus, the development will include a piazza, a commercial tower, a plaza and a mall covering an area of 41,806 square metres. Work is due to be completed within five years. Singapore-based DP Architects (DPA) carried out the masterplan.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Emaar with Damascus in mid-October for a second scheme estimated at $3,400 million, to be called Hills of Damascus.

Emaar also signed in early June an MoU with the General Organisation for Housing. Under the MoU, a new company will be created to target real estate and tourism projects across the country. Emaar will be represented in the country through its subsidiary Emaar Syria (MEED 28:10:05).