MAF begins ground works for Syrian mega project

'Khams Shamat' will be the Levant's largest shopping destination

An aerial view of Damascus. Photo: Getty.
An aerial view of Damascus. Photo: Getty.

Dubai-based developer Majid Al Futtaim Properties has begun the ground works for its first mega tourism project in Syria, the company announced this week.

With a background in, and strong reputation for shopping mall, hotel and mixed-use tower building in the Middle East, the developer is delighted to be playing a role in Syria’s tourism development plans.

The project itself, known as Khams Shamat, the first phase for which is scheduled for completion in 2014, will become the Levant's landmark mixed-use community including tourism, shopping and entertainment facilities.

Majid Al Futtaim’s CEO Peter Walichnowski said: "We have spent a lot of time and money with the world's best consultants carefully studying all aspects of this mixed use development.

"With the new investment offerings the Syrian economy is providing and the zest towards foreign investment, we found an outstanding opportunity to enter the Syrian market in a big way and be a major player in pushing the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors forward.

“We will bring to Syria international standard facilities that will be as good as anything else in the Middle East."

Located in the Sabboura-Yafour area on the Damascus-Beirut highway, Khams Shamat will be 17km west of the Syrian capital, and easily reached from the city centre in 20 minutes.

Occupying a total area of 1 million m2, it will contain the largest shopping and leisure destination in the Levant region, as well as numerous international hotels, restaurants, commercial office space, business districts and touristic accommodation.

To ensure convenience at all times, the project will also offer other civic amenities such as schools, medical facilities, public parks, art galleries and amphitheatres.

Speaking about the project’s progress so far, regional head of Lebanon and Syria, Waddah El Solh, said: "Today is a big day for Majid Al Futtaim Properties in Syria.

“The start of the ground works shows our commitment towards the Khams Shamat project and our seriousness in getting things done."

He added: "We take this opportunity to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Syrian Government for the support and for facilitating to accomplishment of this project. We are confident that Khams Shamat will play a major role in the overall development of the tourism sector in the country."


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