ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates have decided to start work on a construction project called the Mabarak Center in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province, the office of the provincial chief minister said on Thursday.
The UAE’s Dhabi Group signed an agreement with Pakistan to invest Rs60 billion in the construction project in February this year. The center will include commercial, residential and entertainment facilities and is slated to be the tallest building in Lahore. It will include a seven-star hotel linked with Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium.
On Thursday, UAE ambassador Hamad Obaid Al-Zaabi met Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, chief minister Punjab, to discuss the Mubarak Center initiative and other issues, including the promotion of bilateral relations and investment opportunities.
“Both agreed to start work on the Mubarak Center project on Ferozepur Road Lahore soon,” a statement from the chief minister’s office said.
“We welcome the billions of rupees investment in the state-of-the-art Mubarak Center project by the Dhabi Group and are deeply grateful to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, UAE Minister [for Tolerance and Coexistence].”
“The construction project of the Mubarak Center will further promote mutual cooperation between the two countries,” the UAE envoy was quoted as saying in a statement.
During the meeting, Elahi also thanked the ambassador for UAE’s help for flood victims. Last month, the UAE began operating an air bridge to transport humanitarian aid to Pakistan. It has since sent 41 relief flights to support Pakistan where over 1,600 have died in cataclysmic floods.
The UAE is also Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and home to more than 1.6 million Pakistani nationals.