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MAF Properties embarks on Syrian project

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties said it began work on its US$1 billion mixed-use project in Syria despite the current unrest in the country.

The Khams Shamat project, which is a 1.5mn sqm mixed-use development, will be developed through multiple phases in the Yaafour district, 17km west of Syrian capital Damascus. The first phase of the project will be finished in 2014.

"Khams Shamat is a significant project within our expansion strategy in the MENA region and represents our long-term commitment to the Syrian market. The first stage of laying down the infrastructure and foundations for phase one of the project commenced on July 27, 2011," MAF Properties CEO Peter Walichnowski said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

The Khams Shamat project is among four major developments currently being developed by MAF Properties in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. MAF said the project would involve building international hotels, apartments, shops, homes and offices.

"All necessary preparations required to proceed with the execution of the project have already been made," Waddah El Solh, the company's regional head for Syria and Lebanon, said.

That includes the allocation of project management and construction teams. El Solh also stressed on the large amount of groundwork to be done on the site, due to the project's scale and the nature of the area's terrain.