Abu Dhabi-based Al Maabar International Investments is to invest more than €7bn in the redevelopment of former international airport Hellenikon in Athens, Greece, into a mixed-use project.
Al Maabar is collaborating with Latsis Group of Greece and the Chinese firm Fosun to create the Global Investment Group fund, which will work on the airport redevelopment project with Athens-based Lamda Development.
UAE foreign minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was quoted by WAM news agency as saying that the Athens project will create more than 50,000 jobs.
Construction work on the 6.2 million m² site is scheduled to begin in 2016. Out of the total space, around three million m² will be allocated for retail, residential, leisure, hotels and office space.
The development plan also includes 3.5km of coastline and a two million m² metropolitan park.
Al Maabar managing director H Yousif Al Nowais said that entering the Greek market is a milestone as the company seeks to strengthen its reach, broaden portfolio and develop long-term partnerships.
"Our business model is designed in a way that we look for opportunities that will ensure sustainable economic benefits for both the development’s host country, and the UAE," Nowais said.
"Working with our partners, we’re confident that this 6.2m m² Hellenikon project will contribute to Athens’ economic growth, bridge cultures and regenerate the surrounding communities."
In addition to the Athens project, the two countries also negotiated other projects, including Abu Dhabi Investment Council’s offer to acquire the Astir Palace Resort in Athens, and Abu Dhabi National Energy’s offer to partner with Terna Energy to explore potential energy investments in the country.