First Islamic Investment Bankhas launched a $300 million joint venture with Bahrain International Golf Course Companyto create a themed residential community centred around Riffa golf course. Completion is scheduled for late 2007.

First Islamic will take a 70 per cent equity stake in the project, while HSBC has fully underwritten an Islamically structured financing facility for the remainder of the project costs. The closed community will consist of about 500 residential units, along with swimming pools, tennis courts and a health club. The existing 18-hole golf course will be upgraded to enable it to host international competitions. Selection of designers for the various portions of the project will be made by the end of the year.

In July, First Islamic entered a $500 million joint venture with Dubai Sports Cityto establish a golf-themed residential project within the sports city, which is part of the Dubailand development. Construction is due to begin in mid-2005. A contractor has yet to be appointed (MEED 23:7:04).