Singapore-based company Surbana Consultants has broken ground on a US$214m (S$331m) mixed development in Abu Dhabi.
It is the first of 4 such projects the company is undertaking in the emirate, and is a sign of the growing interest in the largest and wealthiest emirate in the United Arab Emirates.
Singapore companies have traditionally been active in nearby Dubai, using it as a hub for the Middle Eastern region, and have recently also gone to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Now Singapore has set its sights on Abu Dhabi, and with good reason.
Within the UAE, Abu Dhabi is the biggest oil producer, controlling more than 85 percent of the UAE’s total oil capacity and 94 percent of its crude reserves.
Much of the money from oil has been going to real estate development, and this is where Singapore companies can offer various services.
One such company is Surbana Corporation, which was formed more than 3 years ago with the corporatisation of the Building & Development Division of the Housing and Development Board.
“For Surbana, this is the first project that we undertake in the Middle East and also in Abu Dhabi. So for us, it’s a very important project and very prestigious project. We hope to showcase our expertise, not just by track record but also by the work itself,” said Chua Keng Chay, Executive Vice-President, Surbana Consultants.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
In fact, Surbana already has four projects in Abu Dhabi with a construction value of US$500m-800m.
Typically, consultancy services, which Surbana offers, takes up 3-5 percent of this amount.
One of the main advantages of this project – the Royal Complex, comprising of an office, serviced apartments a residential tower – is its prime location, boasting of superb views of the beachfront and an elliptical design that will capitalize on the views of the city on one side and the beach on the other.
Source: Channel NewsAsia, 15 January 2007