PM: Belgrade on Water not just pipe dream

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić says "the outer part of the Belgrade Tower" - a central part of Belgrade on Water - will be completed before the end of 2016.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug

At the presentation of the master plan and a model of the project in Belgrade on Friday, he added that "everything that has been happening these days is evidence that it (the project) will not remain a pipe dream but will actually happen."

Vučić said the first phase of works would begin next February and that four structures would be built, two apartment buildings and two hotels, as well as "the largest shopping mall in the Balkans." According to him, the Belgrade Tower will also be built as the project's "most important structure."

According to reports, Vučić added that he withdrew before his critics when they talked about "the renovation of the General Staff and the famous oak tree," but vowed "not to withdraw in front of something so pure and big as Belgrade on Water."

He also revealed that "extensive and invisible work" was under way to harmonize "all the plans."

Eagle Hills owner Mohamed Al Abbar said that the project was something that "completely changes the quality of life in Serbia, which changes the economics and prospects of the country."

He thanked the government and the Serbian people for their trust, and said that such projects were "proof that anything is possible."

The UAE businessman who is investing in the project stressed the importance of tourism and business and added that "the intention of this project is to create a regional center, which will have no competition."

Alabbar noted that the total investment will reach some EUR 3 billion, and that the construction of Belgrade on Water will make a significant contribution to the local economy, using the services of local manufacturers and builders.

He also revealed that what attracted him personally when talks were held about investing in Serbia was - the country's leadership.

Vučić said on Friday that the land on which the project will be developed "will not change the owner," but would be rented out "for a number of years." Alabbar said that the project will be implemented "in cooperation with local architects."

Vučićstated that Belgrade will invest in the clearing of the Sava Amphitheater area and that the figure will be "EUR 200 million, maybe less."

The prime minister added the Arab investor would spend "over three billion, maybe even four billion euros," and that "profits will be divided in accordance with investments."

Asked to comment on the recent slump in the value of shares of Dubai's Arabtec, the prime minister said that their value "still remained higher than ten consolidated Serbian budgets."

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