Tbilisi, Georgia, November 4, 2008-IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Uptown Tbilisi
Development LLC and its parent company Rakeen Development PJSC to build
the first large-scale, multipurpose shopping mall and office tower complex
in Tbilisi, Georgia, that will create jobs and help develop the local retail
IFC’s $49.7 million financing package will support this cross-border project
between Rakeen Development, an investor based in the United Arab Emirates
that is seeking external growth opportunities, and Uptown Tbilisi Development,
a private developer in Georgia that has strong foreign investment needs.
The project will introduce new retail standards and enhance local business
and retail infrastructure in Georgia. It will also lead to significant
job creation, while expanding access to quality goods and better retail
services for local consumers.
Khater Massaad, Chairman of Rakeen’s Board of Directors, said, "Today
marks a key milestone in our strategic expansion, and it is our hope to
continue participating in Georgia’s economic growth and development.”
Acknowledging IFC’s partnership and support of the project, he said, “We
hope to continue our collaboration with IFC on future projects."
Snezana Stoiljkovic, IFC Director for Central and Eastern Europe, said,
"In Georgia, IFC is focusing on the long-term sustainability of existing
private sector clients, helping restore foreign investor confidence in
the country and supporting the development of small and medium enterprises.
The Uptown Tbilisi project is a good example of this. We hope that our
support will promote foreign direct investment in the retail sector and
encourage similar investments in the country."
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Rakeen was established in 2006 in the United Arab Emirate as a property
development company, with a focus on domestic and international projects,
especially in emerging and frontier markets. The company’s expansion into
Georgia is part of its strategy to diversify its portfolio and business