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2 billion euros of Durrës closer
Written by Fatos Çoçoli 5 Maj 2021
I have asked many times dear friends from Durrës what they thought about the project of transforming their beloved city into the largest yacht port in the Mediterranean and relocating the cargo and ferry port to Porto Romano. Most expressed disbelief and considered the project more of an electoral candy (there was and they said a cake) given to Rama by the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates. Even when our Ministry of Infrastructure distributed to the media 3 dimensional construction plans in the port of Durres and in the Hospital. They said that all these beautiful things would be left in the air. As the 2 billion euro investment remained in Karpen of Kavaja. Well done, they even said that they brought 3D images, why they did not bring them to Karpen. And the following jokes were made between them: "But why did they leave the cake worth 2 billion euros, as much as Karpeni? Make it 3 billion! Ha ha ”. We Albanians know little about this country, the United Arab Emirates. As citizens, we only know that it is among the small countries of the Persian Gulf, very rich in oil. The United Arab Emirates has a surface area slightly more than three times the area of ??Albania, with nearly 10 million inhabitants, but ranks seventh in the world in terms of level of development, with a per capita income of 70 thousand dollars per year, or a national production $ 647 billion per year (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Arab_Emirates). The country's president, Crown Prince Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the son of Emirati founder Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who loved Albanians and funded the construction of Kukes Zayed Airport in 1999. The caliph stood by his father's will and helped us with 2,000 apartments in the Hospital for reconstruction from the earthquake, or $ 70 million. The order to build these apartments was left to the Crown Prince by the fourth most powerful Arab in the world, according to the magazine "Arabian Business Magazine" (https://www.arabianbusiness.com/lists/422978-worlds-most-powerful -arabs-2019-32), Muhammad Alabbar, builder of more than half of Dubai, the city of wonders. And Alabbar comes to Albania in December last year and plans the investment in Durrës, beyond the construction of 2 thousand apartments as a contract with his government. Promising investments about 30 times more, 2 billion euros! Up to this point I was also inside the joke of my Durrës friends. But on May 1, 2021, Alabbar appears in an interview on the prestigious American network CNN. Alabbar has rarely appeared in interviews on this network, to declare investments of billions of dollars or euros, which he later realized. Such was the interview on CNN on July 14, 2018 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HjaWWVzyPM), when he created the digital trading platform "Noon (Noon)", a $ 1 billion project, in collaboration with Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund to serve 400 million Arabs through e-commerce. The interview on CNN is not a 20 thousand euro expense that the owner of a company gives to a television, even if it is regional in the Balkans, to come up with a promise or project, which the owner wants the television to advertise. Even with 200 thousand euros sponsorship you can not appear on CNN in his business shows. Never! You can pay that much money, but you will come out as an advertiser, not as CNN's own program. That is why, when I watched Alabbar's interview on CNN on May 1, 2021, I realized that investing in Durrës is something very serious and real. Alabbar is not an unknown investor in this part of the Balkans. In Serbia, in April 2015, six years ago, he signed a contract with the Serbian government for the transformation of an old train station and the surrounding abandoned area, on the banks of the Sava River, into a modern structure. Alabbar intended to invest 3 billion euros in the project. But there were some mistrust problems with the Serbian authorities and the project bore fruit only in October 2020, with the inauguration of the largest shopping center in the Balkans, called "Mega Gallery", which owns 300,000 m2 of space, of which 93,000 m2 for rent, sells 300 local and international brands of goods (household appliances, TVs, cell phones, clothing, etc.), has 50 restaurants and cafes and 3,600 parking spaces. The center will also serve for cultural and artistic activities. Alabbar mentions in the interview on CNN the positive experience in Serbia. While he calls Albania "New Europe". Believe it? I think that with the appearance of Alabbar on CNN, the 2 billion euros of the fantastic project for Durrës are closer to us. It now takes a very responsible job of our government to implement every request of this visionary investor in real time, without hindering it, as happened in Serbia. Believe it? I think that with the appearance of Alabbar on CNN, the 2 billion euros of the fantastic project for Durrës are closer to us. It now takes a very responsible job of our government to implement every request of this visionary investor in real time, without hindering it, as happened in Serbia. Believe it? I think that with the appearance of Alabbar on CNN, the 2 billion euros of the fantastic project for Durrës are closer to us. It now takes a very responsible job of our government to implement every request of this visionary investor in real time, without hindering it, as happened in Serbia.