Tower complex for Istanbul

ISTANBUL (AFP) – Istanbul authorities and a real estate group in the United Arab Emirates announced plans here yesterday to begin construction next year of two 300-meter (990-foot) office towers. The announcement was made by Dubai International Properties (DIP) and the office of Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas, who said that the complex – Dubai Towers-Istanbul – would be completed in 2008 and would include a business center and hotel, as well as space for commercial and leisure activities. Dubai International Properties would assume 80 percent of the estimated cost of 500 million dollars (420 million euros) and the mayor’s office 20 percent. The towers are to be built in the Levent business district on the western bank of the Bosporus, said Topbas. The complex is part of a 5-billion-dollar real estate deal reached in early October between DIP and the city. «We’ve been negotiating with the Municipality of Istanbul for a while because we believe in Istanbul and in the economy of Turkey,» said Mohammad al-Gergawi, executive president of Dubai Holdings, which includes DIP. «We are currently identifying some other projects in Istanbul that we will realize one by one in the future… This would be within the next four years.»