Lawmakers in Serbia gave the green light to a riverside development project in Belgrade which includes the construction of 5,700 apartments, 2,200 hotel rooms, offices for 12,700 people, a shopping mall, and a 200-metre Dubai-style tower. The development plan covers a total of 1.8 mln m².
Developers hope to break ground on Belgrade Waterfront this year, transforming a bleak wasteland on the east bank of the Sava River over at least the next 10 years at a cost of at least €3 bln (3.25 bln US Dollars).
The project marks the first foray into central and eastern Europe by Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills and UAE real estate tycoon Mohamed Alabbar.
Serbia’s 250-seat parliament voted late on Thursday by 176 to nine to adopt a special public interest law that allows for the expropriation of land and issuing of building permits for the project. The rest of the lawmakers were not present for the vote after three days of debate.
It gives the UAE a toehold — while costs remain relatively low — in a country likely to join the EU, the world’s biggest single market, in the next decade. It can also avoid the tough public procurement rules, transparency and regulation demanded of EU members but more easily circumvented in Serbia.
Source: Gulf Business