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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 11/12/2009

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Ministry of Local Government of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has approved the master plan for Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city.

This was announced by Bayti Real Estate Investment Company, the developer of the project, in a statement from Ramallah, clearing the way for the developer to initiate construction of the first phase of Rawabi.

"Dr Khaled Fahd Al Qawasmi, Minister of Local Government of the Palestinian Authority, has approved Rawabi's master plan in an unprecedented and definitive move to clear the way for construction to begin on the first new Palestinian city in recent history," said the statement.

The ministry's approval was preceded by approval from the Palestinian Higher Planning Council.

Bayti is jointly owned by Qatar's government-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Ramallah-based Massar International. Experts from Qatari Diar have been working closely with their Palestinian counterparts to finalise preparations to launch construction of more than 5,000 housing units and the Rawabi city centre, nine kilometres north of Ramallah.

Qatari Diar CEO, Ghanem bin Saad Al Saad, reiterated his company's commitment to ensuring that the Rawabi project developed as planned and came to fruition in a timely manner, emphasising the need to improve quality of life of the Palestinian people.

The new city will feature more than 5,000 apartments and town-home units constructed around central pedestrian and vehicle commercial zones to house up to 25,000 residents. Additional residential and commercial units slated for subsequent construction will ultimately serve a city with a population of 40,000.

Citizens of Rawabi will enjoy access to schools, healthcare, financial and professional services, as well as conveniently situated entertainment, shopping and outdoor recreation areas. Construction costs for Rawabi are estimated at over 500m.

The Palestinian Minister of Economy, Dr Hassan Abu Libdeh, stressed the importance of an expedited project time-line in order to turn plans for the new city into reality.

He also underscored the significance of the Rawabi project in terms of job creation for Palestinians, noting that the project will result in the creation of thousands of jobs, both temporary and permanent, and will help alleviate the housing shortage with the construction of a large number of affordable houses.

The Managing Director of Bayti, Bashar Masri, confirmed the company's intention to launch construction within a few weeks.

 






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