The Birth of Ritz-Carlton in Amman

On April 25th 2017, Al Eqbal Real Estate Development and Marriott International announced the expansion of the Ritz-Carlton brand to Amman with the signing of an agreement to establish the Ritz-Carlton hotel and residences at Fifth Circle in Amman.

Luxury development

Expected to be completed in 2020, the Ritz-Carlton Amman will bring new options to guests and residents in the form of luxury suites, restaurants, branded apartments, and a grand ballroom.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Thursday, May 18; Prime Minister Hani Mulki laid the foundation stone inaugurating the project.

The project represents a major element of Marriott International’s plans for expansion in the Middle East market. The company currently represents the broadest portfolio of brands in the Middle East and North Africa, and holds a lucrative position in the eyes of consumers in this region. In Jordan alone, Marriott already operates five hotels, and Marriott’s President and Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa, Alex Kyriakidis, estimates that the company is on track to double its portfolio in the region in the next four years. Already in the works are plans to open properties in Tunis, Tunisia; Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and in the Moroccan cities of Tamuda Bay, Marrakech and Rabat.

Potential for continued economic growth

The Ritz Carlton Amman is anticipated to have a positive impact on the Jordanian economy. Notably, the project is an entirely Jordanian investment. Experts estimate that nearly 2,000 jobs will be created in the course of construction and operations, many of which will go to Jordanian youth.

Emad Al Kilani, CEO of Al Eqbal Real Estate Development, noted that the hotel and residences plan to work with both international and Jordanian architects to capture the “authenticity of Jordanian culture with a modern twist.”

K&P corporate partner Khaldoun Nazer led the team advising Al Eqbal Real Estate Development on all hotel management and residential agreements. He commends both parties for their tireless dedication to bringing the project to life saying, “The fact that Jordan is considered to be an integral part of the growth of the Ritz-Carlton brand in the Middle East, and that they established a close partnership with a prominent Jordanian firm, has exciting implications for future development and growth within the country.”

Khalifeh & Partners has an established track record for its lawyers’ work on large-scale real estate deals and other construction projects.

Headline: Khalifeh & Partners Advises Nebras Power on Acquisition Deal

Qatari shareholding company Nebras Power has acquired 40% of global power major AES Corporation’s stake in Al-Manakhir IPP4 power plant in Jordan.

The announcement came at a meeting yesterday where AES president (Europe Middle East and Asia) Julian Jose Nebrada Marquez and Nebras CEO Khalid Mohamed al-Jolo said with the latest acquisition, Nebras will now own a 24% interest in the 241MW plant.
The plant reportedly meets more than 20% of Jordan’s power requirements.
The new transaction is expected to be completed next month.
AES currently owns a 60% interest in the project through its fully-owned subsidiaries. The remaining stake is held by Japan’s Mitsui & Co.
The Al-Manakhir Plant, which started commercial operations in July last year, has 16 tri-fuel units, and is working on natural gas, heavy oil and diesel. The plant is generating additional power to cope with the increasing demand for electricity in Jordan.
Speaking at the meeting, general manager of Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) and Nebras chairman Fahd Hamad al-Mohannadi said the latest acquisition of Nebras is in line with the vision of the company’s board of directors to turn Nebras Power into a strong global company.
The company, he said, along with its international partners, is pursuing continuing investments in power generation and water desalination projects, both within the region and outside. The company also owns a 35% stake in Shams Ma’an Solar PV project in Jordan.
Al-Jolo said, “Our company started its investments last year after we acquired stakes in the Shams Ma’an project, also in Jordan, and the deal involving Al-Manakhir plant is its second investment in the country in less than a year. It shows how important the Jordan power market is for Nebras.”
He also spoke about plans by the company in such markets as Morocco and Turkey, by investing in productive power plants and also by joining hands with some of the major players at the international level.
Echoing al-Mohannadi’s comments, al-Jolo said the latest investment is in line with Nebras’ long-term strategy to strengthen its international expertise and reach.
Marquez said AES is committed to delivering best standards and practices in the industry and would utilise all available opportunities in a fast growing market as Jordan, making use of the existing as well as new facilities being developed.
The $1bn Nebras Power was set up last year as a joint venture among QEWC (60%), Qatar Petroleum (20%) and Qatar Holding (20%).