Erbil, Iraq; October 27, 2013: His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, today unveiled Downtown Erbil, the first-of-its-kind integrated lifestyle development in the region by Emaar Erbil in the fast-growing city of Erbil in Kurdistan of Iraq.
Celebrating the sterling reputation of being one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited townships, Erbil is today defined by a vibrant economy. Downtown Erbil will serve as a strong link between the city's inspiring past and promising future.
Creating a dynamic and inspiring new city centre, Downtown Erbil is spread over an area of 541,000 sq m (over 133 acres). The project brings the world-class project development competencies of Emaar, which has created global icons such as Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and The Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping and entertainment destination.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "Downtown Erbil is our architectural tribute to Erbil, one of the most fascinating cities in Iraq, with a rich ancient civilisation and a fast-growing economy. The Downtown Erbil project will be defined by stunning architecture and urban design by globally renowned architects, masterplanners, and engineers. Every aspect of the development including the city's largest mall, iconic twin towers, superb hotels, a central business district, and luxurious homes, will be carefully integrated to create a lifestyle community that will not only contribute to the city's economic growth, but bring unprecedented lifestyle choices to residents."
He added: "Iraq is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the region with rich natural resources and a large youth population. We are creating a new lifestyle dynamic in the country through Downtown Erbil that will serve as a benchmark for all future urban developments in the country. The economic impact of Downtown Erbil for the city and the country will be tremendous, by driving the growth of the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, creating thousands of new jobs for the local people, and serving as a strong magnet for further inward foreign investments."
Sarwar Pedawi, a prominent Kurdish Iraqi businessman, said: "Emaar Properties has a strong track-record in delivering iconic projects and catalysing the growth of cities. Downtown Erbil will be a lifestyle community on a scale never before envisaged in the region, and will be a fitting complement to the Kurdistan Regional Government's vision to boost the economy. The project will further energise Erbil, creating an inspiring community where people will want to live, work, and play."
Introducing the concept of master-planned communities to Iraq, Downtown Erbil is designed as an architectural masterpiece that will create a stellar new skyline for the city. Other distinguishing features include Erbil's largest shopping and entertainment destination, several world-class hotels, an inspiring commercial hub, and a choice of residential projects including spacious and luxurious apartments.
The different lifestyle components within Downtown Erbil are designed around plazas and landscaped courtyards, creating attractive lifestyle neighbourhood communities. The largest shopping mall in the city in Downtown Erbil will feature high-end fashion outlets and convenience stores, creating a perfect platform for global retailers to expand to Iraq. The mall will also feature restaurants and cafes lined along wide boulevards.
Further underlining its business and tourism appeal, Downtown Erbil will have three world-class hotels and a number of leisure attractions. The development will feature all the modern facilities that mark an integrated community including mosques, educational institutions, healthcare and sports facilities, sports centres, community centres, and children’s play areas.
The residential communities are envisaged as pedestrian-friendly districts, with a mix of high-rise and low-rise apartments, to ease traffic flow, and defined by green landscaped avenues. An integrated transit facility is being planned through a network of immaculately paved streets and bylanes.
Located at an equal distance away from the Citadel of Erbil, the world's oldest continuously inhabited town, and the modern Erbil International Airport, Downtown Erbil will serve as a business and tourism hub with its iconic twin towers, towering above a new Central Park with views all the way to the Citadel, a strong reminder of the region's rich cultural heritage.