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Uz;n;em;ejs Mohameds Ali Alabbars un Rīgas mērs Vilnis Ķirsis sarokojas

On Wednesday, 10 January, chairman of Riga City Council Vilnis Kirsis and Mohamed Ali Alabbar, a United Arab Emirates businessman and head of real estate development company Eagle Hills, signed a memorandum of cooperation to confirm the intention of the two parties to develop the Andrejsala neighbourhood, investing more than 3 billion euros in development projects over 15 years.

Signing the memorandum of cooperation, the parties stated their commitment to working consistently together towards developing Andrejsala. Riga’s sustainable planning strategy identifies Andrejsala as a development area of strategic importance to the city, and its unique location and value has also been recognised by the investor from the United Arab Emirates, believing it to be one of the most promising urban development opportunities in the Nordics.

‘Investment is an unavoidable component enabling the economic circulation and life of our city and country, which is why Riga pays particular attention to attracting foreign investors. Riga offers a broad range of investment opportunities, in manufacturing, in services, and in urban development. We welcome the interest of an investor with extensive global experience in one of our city’s priority development areas, which Andrejsala undoubtedly is,’ Vilnis Ķirsis, Riga City Council chairman, said.

Explaining his choice and the purpose of the investments, Mohamed Ali Alabbar noted: ‘Riga deserves a truly great waterfront development: its own Nordhavn like in Copenhagen, and a HafenCity like in Hamburg. The city is a metropolis of the North, situated on the banks of a river and at a sea coast. I have worked in real estate development for 30 years and in 16 countries. And my experience as such suggests that this is a unique place. My goal is to work with local partners and give Riga an outstanding example of new urban development, while preserving the character of the place, giving Riga’s citizens a space to live, work, and relax, and for the city’s guests to visit.’

Riga City Council will work with the investor on such priorities for the city as mobility and transport, availability of outdoor spaces and the Daugava waterfront to the public, expansion of the housing stock, business development, while helping the investor work with municipal companies and agencies, and promoting Riga as a great destination for international businesses, developers, and tourists.

The United Arab Emirates company plans to develop the approximately 57-hectare area as a multifunctional space, expanding the housing stock of the city with more than 6500 flats, building a new passenger terminal at the seaport of Riga, creating extensive opportunities for business and culture, improving the outdoor public areas, and rebuilding the Daugava waterfront as a promenade accessible to local residents. The planned projects are to be implemented over the coming 10–15 years, investing a total of more than 3 billion euros in the development of the Andrejsala neighbourhood. The work on the projects will take place across multiple phases, the first of which has already begun.

The neighbourhood of Andrejsala stands out for its importance and value thanks to its location in the immediate vicinity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the historic centre of Riga, the Art Nouveau area, and the Old Town. The municipal government has decided that Andrejsala should develop as a distinctive and multifunctional space with business, services, housing, and key public facilities, as a subdivision of the core of the city associated with maritime passenger transport, yachting, recreation, and tourism, using the valuable cultural heritage, water space, and waterfront of the neighbourhood for this purpose, thus enabling the interaction of the historical and the modern.

About Eagle Hills

Eagle Hills is an Abu Dhabi-based private real estate investment and development company that focuses on developing new city centres in fast-growing international markets. Aiming at large-scale real estate development, Eagle Hills designs and implements mixed-use projects. Its target markets open up opportunities for using latest technologies that enable smart projects adding significant value to the local economy. The company is currently developing projects in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Ethiopia, Serbia, Albania, and Croatia.