June 24, 2010, - 6:13 pm
BARF: Barack Obama Helps Syria Market Itself as “Post-Dubai” Western Paradise; Homes by Bin Ladin Grp
I don’t know about you. But the last place I’d wanna vacation or have my vacation home is a country that is headquarters to every Islamic terrorist group, a shelter for Nazi war criminals and Olympic massacre terrorists, a Hezbollah haven that takes its orders from Iran, and a haven for some of the worst human rights abuse in the world.
But that’s how Syria is marketing itself . . . to Americans. The country is making itself over as a “Post-Dubai” western paradise. And to that end, it’s building American-style luxury homes. Very scary. Dubai was bad enough. But Syria makes it look like jolly, cheery Fiji. Behind the homes are United Arab Emirates, Egyptian, and Saudi developers, including none other than the Bin Ladin Group. Oh, and one “tiny” detail: it’s all part of Obama’s and Bashar Assad’s plan to “liberalize” Syria and restore relations, along with Obama’s reinstating of an American ambassador in Damascus. They can build all the American-style homes they want. It’s still terrorist state Syria. And facades and complexes won’t change that.
YAFOUR, Syria—American-style luxury housing and mixed-use estates are springing up like daisies in this desolate valley set against the hills just a few miles from the capital Damascus, the latest manifestation of a Middle East real-estate boom.
The construction is being fed by Persian Gulf investors. While Dubai’s debt woes have halted some of that city-state’s more ambitious dreams at home, Gulf-based property developers are heading to other, lower-profile Middle East markets, like Syria.
At Jasmine Hills, owned by Palmyra Real Estate, a joint venture between United Arab Emirates property developer Belhasa International and Egyptian and Syrian investors, 173 peach-colored villas, clustered around a community center and a gym, are expected to be finished next year.
Down the road in nearby Sabboura lies the Saudi-based Bin Ladin Group’s Palm Village—33 modern villas and a four-star hotel.
And Emivest, a Dubai-based investment and development agency, is building Cordoba, a set of plush apartment buildings.
In Damascus, the U.A.E.’s Emaar Properties PJSC and IGO, an offshore investment and property-development company, are finishing off the $500 million mixed-use Eighth Gate development. An office park of towering buildings, the development is home to the Damascus Securities Exchange.
“Syria is a virgin and growing market,” says George Saba, vice president of the U.A.E.’s Majd al-Futtaim, which is investing $1 billion in a 250-acre, mixed-use retail, commercial and tourist estate in Yafour.
What? Only a virgin market? Who needs one, when you can blow the place up and get 72 of ‘em?
“Now that the Gulf market is saturated, many companies are looking outside,” he said. “Syria has the biggest potential in the region.”
Investors are plowing into Syria amid ambitions by the government of President Bashar al-Assad to liberalize the economy. Damascus also is hoping to benefit from a diplomatic thaw with the West. Washington is preparing to reinstate an ambassador here after several years of tense relations. That is all helping stoke demand for high-end residential homes and office space.
“Washington,” here, means Barack Obama. Yes, Obama is restoring relations with this despotic regime.
Hey, Maybe Brad Pitt and Angie Voight a/k/a Angelina Jolie can buy a home here. They are frequent visitors to Syria and recently hung out there with their friend, the brutal Assad. And, they’ve already bought a home in Dubai.
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