Dubai World makes fresh foray into US

Business Materials 10 October 2007 07:53 (UTC +04:00)

Unfazed by last year's political opposition to DP World over the takeover of key US ports, Dubai's Jafza International said it will build a large business park in the United States.

Although several Dubai companies have made big investments in the US since a Congressional backlash in early 2006 forced DP World to give up its US port operations, the $600-million business park in South Carolina will be the first major independent greenfield project by a Dubai World entity.

Jafza International said in a statement its project has been widely welcomed in the US, specifically in Orangeburg county.

Jafza International managing director Chuck Heath told Gulf News: "There has been no indication that this presents any problems."

Orangeburg County Development Commission executive director Gregg Robinson said he was "excited" about the project, which is expected to create up to 10,000 jobs in the area.

"It appears that Jafza has done a good job of laying groundwork with local and state officials in South Carolina," David Hamod, president of Washington-based National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, told Gulf News.

He said the deal "sends a message that Dubai investors are here to stay" and that the DP World episode was a "learning experience for everyone".

In August, Dubai World announced an investment of $5.1 billion in the American entertainment firm MGM Mirage.