21 December 2012

Morocco's U.S $40 Million Marrakech Healthcare City Unveiled

Abu Dhabi firm Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing is looking to gain a 30 per cent return on investment (ROI) as it unveils its $40 million Moroccan healthcare project, the Marrakech Healthcare City.

The new complex - which will take two years to construct - will be 21,000 square metres in size, providing space for a 160-bed private hospital, as well as a 40-room hotel and 56 residential apartments.

Tasweek expects to recoup its entire investment by the completion of the project, with Tasweek CEO Masood Al Awar telling Arabian Business that ROI would be around 30 percent, adding to the firm's entire $250 million portfolio's annual yield of between five and seven per cent.

"The return should hopefully come before 24 months," he said. "That is the timeframe we've put in and we're moving towards it very conservatively."

Al Awar also confirmed that a sizeable number of pre-sales have already been agreed and hotel operators will shortly be chosen. The groundbreaking took place yesterday.

"On the pre-sales of the units, we've already sold 25 percent of the residential [units], to local investors," he told Arabian Business.

"We're talking to a couple of international operators and a local operator, and there is some bidding going on. We expect within the next quarter we'll finalise the operator, which could also be extending their operation into managing the apartments as well."

Morocco has increasingly been a target for investment from the Gulf, especially after it avoided most of the Arab Spring political turmoil that affected most of its neighbours in the region. This investment has actively been sought by the country's King Mohammed, who travelled around the six states in the Gulf region in October to encourage investment.

Al Awar confirmed that Morocco was seeking investment in key areas. "The local banks in Morocco are very supportive when it comes to the major industries [like] healthcare and education," he said.

Though it has generally acted as a financier or joint partner, Tasweek has been moving into development and has also launched projects in Malaysia. It has signed a deal to market nine boutique hotels near the country's capital Kuala Lumpur, with the project handover due by the end of next year.

Al Awar says the project is now 95 percent sold.

"It is a very good result," he said. "The project value is around $86 million and [financing] is completed now."

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