In a sign of confidence in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Abu Dhabi developer Eagle Hills has revealed plans for a large mixed-use downtown development there, featuring hospitality, retail, commercial and leisure elements, and more than 4,000 residences.
Set to cover 360,000 square metres in the city centre, on the former site of the capital’s central train station, La Gare, from which the scheme takes its name, the development is the first foray into Ethiopia for Eagle Hills, established in 2014.
In its press release yesterday, Eagle Hills said the scheme, described as "a secure and exclusive setting surrounding a park", had the "patronage" of Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, whose government would aim to develop a social housing component in the masterplan to accommodate residents now living on the site.
The developer said the project "consolidates Eagle Hills’ mission of developing integrated communities in emerging markets".
Ethiopia has been rapidly developing its transport infrastructure, with last year’s opening of a railway to the port in neighbouring Djibouti.
It has been expanding its industrial base equally fast, with a slew of new industrial parks announced this year, predominantly developed by Chinese entities, but lately also by Turkish investors.
Anticipating an influx of foreign businesses and tourists, Eagle Hills said La Gare would be anchored by four and five-star hotels, supported by retail outlets, offices and residential buildings. La Gare will be a new commercial hub for the city, Eagle Hills said, offering Grade A offices and leasehold commercial property.
"As one of Africa’s hidden gems, Ethiopia is rich in history, culture and natural beauty," said Eagle Hills chairman Mohamed Alabbar.
"Our vision is to bring attention to such locations across the globe, revealing the charm and potential within them and inviting future residents and tourists to consider making new homes for themselves there.
"In addition to creating a brand-new skyline and city centre, La Gare is set to contribute to the local market by creating jobs, further bolstering market sentiment and energising the economy."
Image: La Gare, in Addis Ababa, will be "a secure and exclusive setting surrounding a park" (Render courtesy of Eagle Hills)