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Ezdan Holding Group, a giant company from Qatar, is looking at a plot of land around the African Union (AU) for its real estate venture project.
During a visit last year Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of Ezdan Holding Group, which is affiliated with the ruling family, expressed a desire to invest in the hospitality and real estate sector around AU.
He recently arrived as part of a delegation to pay a second visit to the city, meeting with top government officials, including Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.
Sources at the Addis Ababa City Administration told Capital that for the past year they have been looking in the city to find land for the company.
Ezdan Holding has requested about 15 hectares of land from the city administration for its massive investment plan.
“The city administration will facilitate a plot of land that it can provided for a single investor,” sources said. “We have prepared land that we can provide for their investment,” sources added.
He and the delegation were accompanied by Diriba Kuma, Mayor of the city, to visit the site prepared for their investment around AU.
“As per their interest we have shown the options that we prepared for different businesses in the city,” a source at the Mayor’s Office explained.
The AU area has become one of the central locations in the city, since the government gave an additional plot for the new headquarters of the continental organization and huge a parking area, public facilities and residential houses were dissolved.
The billionaire Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi is also constructing the biggest hotel facility in the country at the same location. He also asked for an additional plot of land from the city administration for an additional parking area.
A year ago the Qatari investment group disclosed that its investment would cover 150,000 square meters of land, while the city is expected to provide up to six hectares at the stated area.
If the Qatari investment plan becomes a reality it will be their biggest investment in Ethiopia. They have a plan to invest up to USD 350 million for a five star hotel and other real estate facilities.
Many foreign companies have come to the city requesting land but the city does not have enough to meet their needs.
“There are many big companies that visit the city administration to invest in the city with a lot of money but it is not disclosed to the media until we confirm that their interest is real,” experts at the Mayor’s Office told Capital.
According to experts, most of the investors are asking for a specific location and a large amount of land in the city but capacity of the city is an issue.
Ezdan Holding Group, which was restructured on different occasions, was established in 1960 by Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani, a businessman and investor as well a member of the ruling al-Thani family.
The Ezdan Holding Group is the largest real estate company in the Gulf region and was, in 2013, ranked number 17 on Forbes magazine’s 500 largest Arab corporations. Additionally, Ezdan, which acquired a number of companies belonging to an array of industries, including media, banking, healthcare and insurance services, is listed number 1,250 on Forbes’ Global 2000 list.
The recent visit of Sheikh Dr Khalid is for the third time since his first visit in response to the invitation of the Ethiopian government in August 2014.