INTERVIEW: Samana Group’s CEO sees growing China investment focus on Dubai
Samana recently announced that it is targeting $1 billion worth of Chinese investments in the UAE.
Samana Group sees high Chinese interest in Dubai, as the world’s second largest economy expands its footprint in the Gulf region, the Dubai-based conglomerate’s chief executive said.
“We’ve felt in (the) last one and a half year the trend of Chinese investment is focused on Dubai,” Imran Farooq, Samana Group’s CEO told Zawya in an interview.
Farooq said the confusion in the European markets due to Brexit has pushed China to explore other markets, noting that “Dubai seems to be a serious destination for them.”
As per Dubai customs data, trade between Dubai and China alone reached $9.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019, as the emirate seeks to become the leading Middle Eastern partner for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Samana had announced at the end of October that it is expanding its business into China and is targeting $1 billion worth of Chinese investments into the UAE, as part of its plans to capitalize on Expo 2020 Dubai.
“We are targeting this number over three years. Obviously [in] 2020 we intend to achieve 50 percent of the target and …the balance in 2021 and 2022,” Farooq said.
He said the group plans to open its first office in China by March-April 2020.
Samana will be meeting potential partners in China’s key business hubs, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as part of its investment roadshow in the country. It would also be launching three new real estate projects in Dubai by the first quarter of 2020 and target Chinese investors for these projects.
On the group’s other plans, Farooq told Zawya: “In the first quarter next year we will be launching Samana international and we’ll make an announcement [on launch] of projects in two European markets.” He added that the land for the projects has already been acquired and designs are in the approval stage.
He also disclosed that the company intends to open an office in Saudi Arabia in Jeddah or Riyadh by March-April 2020. (Zawya – November 6, 2019).