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Appointment of Internal Auditor...
Appointment of Internal Auditor
On June 28th 2016, GHC appointed “Crowe Horwath – Horwath Kuwait Consulting” to undertake and review the company’s internal controls and corporate governance to ensure its conformity and alignment with GHC’s targeted objectives and to be in-line with the applicable regional and international norms and standards that we aspire to practice
Signing of Agreement turns Lights on Villamar again...
Signing of Agreement turns Lights on Villamar again

RESTRUCTURING AGREEMENT FOR VILLAMAR SIGNED WITH MAJOR PROJECT PARTIES

Gulf Holding Company (GHC), developers of the Villamar project, announced today the signing of restructuring agreements with support from Al Rajhi Bank (original majority financiers of the project),GFH (the project’s new financiers) and Al Hamad Construction (the project’s contractor).

Based on the terms of the agreements, remobilization has started on the mixed-use, residential project based in the Bahrain Financial Harbour. Lights on the Villamar building have been seen in operation and cranes have moved on site in order to advance development. It is expected that the project will now be completed in approximately 24 months.

Commenting, Mr. Hisham Alrayes, Chairman of Gulf Holding Company, said, "With the signing of this agreement, we’re delighted to announce that remobilization and development of Villamar have begun. This is a strategic project, located in the heart of Bahrain, and we are proud to be working with world-class partners to now advance quickly towards completion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners in the project for their unwavering support. This includes Al Rajhi Bank, Al Hamad Construction and GFH, each of whom has played an important role in taking Villamar forward. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Shaikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction and Infrastructure of the Kingdom of Bahrain. His commitment to the Kingdom’s economic development creates the foundations on which projects like Villamar can advance.”

Mr. Adnan Al Olayan, General Manager for International Banking at Al Rajhi Bank, added, “Al Rajhi Bank is pleased to support this project and its remobilization. As one of the world’s largest Islamic banks, we look for opportunities to drive the development of innovative projects being structured and financed in line with Shariah standards. We are especially focused on those in regional markets, including Bahrain, where Al Rajhi has a long standing track record of success and recognition. We look forward to seeing Villamar develop according to the highest standards and thank the Government of Bahrain for its ongoing support of strategic projects such as this in the Kingdom and to GFH for extending their support to find the proper completion” 

Also commenting, Mr. Nashat Sahawna, Chairman of Al Hamad Construction, said, “As a leading regional contractor, we’re delighted to be part of the development of Villamar. With this agreement now in place, we are able to advance construction and work toward the completion of another landmark project in Bahrain. We’re especially proud to be undertaking work with this group of world-class partners who, like us, are dedicated to delivering value, contributing to the economy and supporting the Government’s visionary and strategic plans for further infrastructure development and growth in the Kingdom.”

The Villamar project is planned to feature over 800 residential units from luxury penthouses and Sky and Terrace Villas to apartments and luxury hotel rooms integrated with numerous other facilities including health club and spa, swimming pools, and other recreational and commercial amenities. The publicly accessible sea-front boardwalk, will allow visitors and residents to enjoy indoor and outdoor cafes, restaurants, and boutique retail shops. Villamar aims to break into the world of exotic developments through its sophisticated architectural design, multi-services and accommodation, and its presence in Bahrain’s growing financial district.                     


Gulf Holding Company Appoints Majed Al Khan as new CEO...
Gulf Holding Company Appoints Majed Al Khan as new CEO

Appointment supports completion of Villamar project

Gulf Holding Company (GHC), developers of the Villamar project, announced today the appointment of Mr. Majed Al Khan as CEO of the Company and the head of the Villamar development.

Mr. Al Khan joins GHC with more than 15 years of experience in real estate sector, project development and investments. Previously he was Deputy CEO & Head of Investments in Al-Khaleej Development Company B.S.C., the Bahraini real estate investment company. Other roles include Head of Investments at CAPIVEST, a financial institution which largely specialized in local, regional and international real estate investing and development. Additionally, he served as a Board Member in several leading real estate development and private equity companies.

Leading GHC, Mr.Al Khan will be focused foremost on the swift and delivery of Villamar, where work recommenced on the luxury, mixed-use, residential project based in the Bahrain Financial Harbour.

Commenting, Mr. Hisham Alrayes, Chairman of Gulf Holding Company, said, "Following the recent remobilization of construction at Villamar, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Majed Al Khan who has extensive experience and good connections in the real estate investment sector. One of the key responsibilities of Mr. Al Khan includes the reactivation of the construction work on the Villamar project which is one of the landmark real estate projects in the Kingdom of Bahrain, reorganization and restructuring of GHC to be one of the major real estate developers in the Kingdom of Bahrain and GCC.”

Mr. Al Khan, added, "I’m pleased to join Gulf Holding Company and the Villamar development team, which is the most prominent commercial landmark in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I appreciate the board of director’s commitment to support the completion this project and returning GHC back as a key player in the Bahraini and regional market.”

Gulf Holding Company appoints COWI to manageUS$700 million Villamar@ t...
Gulf Holding Company appoints COWI to manageUS$700 million Villamar@ the Harbor in Bahrain

Gulf Holding Company, the owner of the integrated residential and commercial complex “Villamar”, has announced the appointment of COWI, an international Danish engineering consultancy firm, to provide consultancy services for the construction work related to the US$700 million Villamar@ the Harbor project in Bahrain.

This appointment is considered as a vital step toward the launch of the construction activities of the Villamar@ the Harbor project expected to accelerate during the first weeks of 2016. The project consists of three twisted towers and 850 residential units in total, including lifestyle apartments with one to five bedrooms, floating sky villas, retail outlets and a quiet boardwalk at the heart of Bahrain’s ever expanding financial district.

COWI will oversee the construction works carried out by the contractor, ensuring its compliance with high level specifications and design intended for the project. This appointment came after reviewing the existing structure and status of the project by renowned local and international experts to facilitate the integration of the existing structure into the new construction activities.

Mr. Majed Al Khan, CEO of Gulf Holding Company, said: “Our commitment to complete Villamar @ the Harbor reflects our sincere financial and ethical obligations toward our community and announcing the recovery of Bahrain's real estate market and completing its business skyline.”

“We would like to thank the Government of Bahrain and in particular the Stalled Projects Committee headed by his Excellency Shaikh Khaled bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, and ministry of works and municipalities affairs and urban planning for their cooperation in bringing Villamar @ the Harbor closer to completion.”

“With this new agreement in place, we are now able to progress with the development of the project. We are very excited about our partnership with COWI, which is a world-class consultancy firm and are looking forward to taking the project to the next level by ensuring that efficient top quality procedures are being followed on-site. The contractor have already started re-mobilizing to the site and all inspection, equipment maintenance, remedial works have already kicked off”



 

Gulf Holding Company To Resume Development of Villamar Project, -- Pro...
Gulf Holding Company To Resume Development of Villamar Project, -- Project’s value to exceed US$700 million-

Gulf Holding Company today announced that the company is ready to resume development of the Villamar project at the Bahrain Financial Harbour in accordance with the plan developed by the company and approved by the Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction and Infrastructure in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Commenting, Chairman of Gulf Holding Company, Mr. Hisham Alrayes, said, "This move reflects the company’s credibility and its ability to implement the projects on time and in accordance with the best international standards. It also reflects the dedicated effort of the Board of Directors to return the company to strong performance. The completion of the development of Villamar project reflects the seriousness of the company towards the fulfillment of its technical and financial commitments to reflect its true image as a leading company and a competitor in the field of real estate development."

The Villamar project will be completely ready during the first half of this year following the resolution of issues related to funding which arose as a result of the world economic crisis and the shortage of funding that resulted.  However, through an agreement concluded between GHC, GFH and Al Rajhi Bank the project now stands on a firm financial footing to move forward.

Villamar is one of a series of development projects launched by the company over the past years and known as the “Signature Series”. The completion of Villamar will mark the launch of this series of developments upon completion, the value of the Villamar project is expected to exceed US$700 million.

 

Gulf Holding CEO receives UAE delegation visiting Villamar...
Gulf Holding CEO receives UAE delegation visiting Villamar

Gulf Holding CEO Mr. Majed Al Khan received the UAE delegation led by H.E. Yafea Eid Al Faraj, Executive Director of the Ajman Real-Estate Regulatory Agency (ARRA). During this visit, the UAE delegation had a first-hand account of Villamar’s progress, and also examined various best practices relating to project management, construction, design, execution and other critical aspects. 

Commenting on the UAE delegation’s visit, Majed Al Khan, CEO of Gulf Holding Company said: “We welcome the UAE delegation’s visit to our flagship Villamar project in Bahrain. Such visits and exchange of information between industry stakeholders in the GCC are essential for the healthy growth of the regional real estate market. We have adopted the best global practices for this complex multi-million dollar project, which we expect to deliver as planned. Over time, we are confident that Villamar will establish itself as a benchmark development from which the wider industry will draw inspiration from.”

Villamar is a US$700 million luxury real estate development located along the waterfront of the Bahrain Financial Harbor. It is a mixed-use project consisting of three twisted towers and 850 residential units, including luxury apartments, floating sky villas, retail outlets and a quiet boardwalk at the heart of Bahrain’s expanding financial district. Gulf Holding became the project financers for Villamar last year, and revived the construction work so after. The multi-million dollar project is expected to be completed in approximately 24 months.
Gulf Holding Company Strengthens Senior Management Team...
Gulf Holding Company Strengthens Senior Management Team

Gulf Holding Company (GHC), the Kuwait-based regional real estate company today announced that it is further strengthening its senior management team by appointing Laith Yousif Al Memar as Chief Development Officer.  In this new role, Mr. Al Memar will oversee GHC’s real estate projects across the region, including the delivery of the US$700 million luxury mixed-use residential Villamar project in the Bahrain Financial Harbour.

Mr. Majed Al Khan, CEO of Gulf Holding Company, said: We are delighted to welcome Mr. Al Memar to Gulf Holding’s senior management team. With his extensive knowledge and rich experience, he will play an important role in our real estate projects across the region. As Mr. Al Memar takes a leadership role in our flagship Villamar project, we are confident of delivering this landmark development at the earliest.

With the restructuring and reactivation of key projects such as Villamar, Gulf Holding has reaffirmed its commitment to its investors and shareholders. Attracting high calibre professionals like Mr. Al Memar is a further testimony of our absolute focus towards the delivery of our real estate projects. I look forward to working closely with him and taking Gulf Holding to the next level.”

Mr. Al Memar has over 30 years of commercial and residential real estate experience, which includes structuring investments, fund management, logistics, property management and executing new property developments. Prior to joining Gulf Holding, he was the CEO of Al Khaleej Development Co (Tameer) from 2009 until 2015. He was also a board member of several companies, including Bahrain Investment Wharf, Tamcon Contracting Company, Tala Island Development and Durrat Marina Bahrain. Mr. Al Memar holds a BSc degree in Architecture from the University of Technology in Baghdad, and is a member of various professional bodies including the Bahrain Society of Engineers, Project Management Institute and the MENA Real Estate Society.

Laith  Al Memar’s appointment is yet another senior management position announced by Gulf Holding Company this year. Earlier in September, the company announced a new leadership when it named Mr. Majed Al Khan as the new CEO. Since then, Mr. Al Khan has embarked upon the process of restructuring the company, reactivating flagship projects like Villamar, and bringing in valuable talent like Mr. Al Memar to re-establish GHC as key regional real estate company.

 
Villamar- Special Report ...
Villamar- Special Report
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Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Visits Vi...
Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Visits Villamar

Gulf Holding Company (GHC), the developer of Villamar project, received a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning. The delegation was headed by Minister Eng. Essam bin Abdullah Khalaf accompanied by Undersecretary of Municipalities Affairs Dr. Nabil Mohammed Abul Fateh and head of the Municipal Center Eng. Salem alQouti.

The delegation was received by CEO of Gulf Holding Majed Al Khan who welcomed the delegation and thanked them for their tireless efforts to overcome all the obstacles faced by the project in terms of the renewal of building permits and the study of the necessary infrastructure requirements to make the project an urban interface of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

On the occasion, Al Khan said that GHC could immunize the project during the previous period, restructure the existing finances and pump required funds to start construction work. “This was in collaboration with GFH Financial Group, and AlRajhi Bank who helped us present a comprehensive plan of redevelopment in addition to the delivery of sold units to the stalled Projects Committee which, in turn, excluded our project as stalled,” he added.

Al Khan also assured that work has actually started by installing glass surfaces and finishes in the Middle tower and the Commercial Complex in addition to concrete work in the podium in order to deliver the units sold during 2018 within the phase one. “Phase two is to include interior finishes of the other components of the project with a total cost of more than 700 million US dollars,” he said.

As GHC Board and Executive Management believe, these steps will help quicken the delivery the units sold to investors; a thing that will restore confidence in Bahrain's real estate market and represent a new breakthrough in the company's life as a company highly committed to improve the image of the real estate investment in Bahrain, especially if we take into account the strategic location of Villamar Project in the heart of the capital, Manama.

Civil, MEP & Panels Works...
Civil, MEP & Panels Works

        Civil Works:

  • The contractor has casted the main concrete slab at level 3 of the terrace level which is now 100% complete; the works included more than 500 m3 of concrete and more than 160 tons of steel.

  • Additionally workers started on the slab shuttering in podium 1 and 2 level and level 3 of the terrace villas.

  • Further screed work in Podium 1 and 2 levels have started and progress being made on a daily basis.

Block & plaster works have started in Tower B of levels 10,11,12,23,26,27,28,29 and 30 and as of today an area of more than 5,500m2 has been completed

      

        Curtain Wall “Panels” Works:

  • The contractor has installed more than 121 panels in Tower B since the last update report which is a major milestone of finishing the projected works in Phase 1 as per the given deadline. Further works including finishing the glass joints with silicon treatment is ongoing as per the original timeframe plan.

  • A major milestone took place since the last update which included the reactivation of Al Hamad Aluminum Factory in Bahrain including the dispatch, assembly and preparation of more than 106 panels from the factory to the Villamar site.


        MEP Works:


  • Electrical Works continues to progress and some major works since the last update include the ongoing continuity tests, plaster clearance and light point wiring on site.

  • Mechanical Works continues to be ongoing on site which includes duct covering and piping in Tower B. Furthermore works have started on the chilled water floor piping.

Plumbing Works have started on site and ongoing including gravity testing of drainage pipes, pressuring testing of water supply and general drainage pipe works.






      
GHC and Al Rajhi Sign agreement to relaunch Villamar @ The Harbour...
GHC and Al Rajhi Sign agreement to relaunch Villamar @ The Harbour

HE Shaikh Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, Governor of the Capital Governorate, praised the announcement made by GHC for signing the final sukuk restructuring agreement for the Villamar project, considering the project as a new addition and an important milestone added to Manama, capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He also noted the importance of the real estate sector and its direct impact on economic development, and attraction of capital. HE also praised the efforts exerted by the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain to provide a secure investment environment for investors, thus enhancing the position of Bahrain in the real estate sector.

The above statement was made by HE during a ceremony held by GHC, the developer of Vilamar project, to announce the signing of a final Sukuk restructuring agreement with Rajhi Bank (the project financer) and GFH Financial Group (the project sponsor), to officially mark the re-launch of the project in the Bahrain Financial Harbour. The Ceremony was held under the patronage of HE Sh. Hisham Bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, Governor of the Capital Governorate, in the presence of representatives from Rajhi Bank, GFH Financial Group, Al Hamad Contracting Company, Bahrain Property Development Association, and various other government and private sector representatives as well as members of the media.

This agreement follows considerable progress on the project by GHC over the course of the past year including key milestones related to important legal and technical assessments and studies in addition to the reactivation of the site, which has been handed over to the project contractor. Also notable has been the start of construction works under the supervision of a Consultants Panel that has been established and which comprises of a number of reputable and distinguished international and local consultants.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Hisham Alrayes, Chairman of GHC, said, “We are extremely pleased to have now put in place the financial foundations for the development of Villamar @ The Harbour. With the successful rescheduling of all debts and payments, an important pre-cursor to the advancement of work has now been achieved and the promise that we made to our investors for the revival of the project kept. With this milestone now behind us, we expect the smooth and steady development of the project on plan and budget and for the benefit of all stakeholders. As we take this important step forward we would like to extend our appreciation for the support provided by HE Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and his ongoing efforts to support the project and HE Shaikh Hisham Bin Abdul Rahman Al Khalifa for supporting this event.

Mr. Majed Al-Khan, Executive Board Member of GHC, added, “Today we announce the latest milestone in the progress that we continue to make in our landmark Villamar @ The Harbour project. To date, significant progress has been made onsite, supported by the efforts of more than 400 workers, a number that will grow significantly as we further advance. We believe that the revival of the project will enable the Company to maximise the project’s value and potential and effectively reward its shareholders for their patience over the past several years and the challenges that have been faced. We are especially proud to announce this progress alongside the upcoming commencement of the Kingdom’s National Day celebrations, which underscore the Kingdom’s ongoing economic and social progress and leadership.”

The revival of Villamar @ The Harbour comes as part of GHC’s commitment to further supporting growth and expansion of Bahrain’s real estate sector and signifies a new era for GHC and the real estate market in the Kingdom overall. The relaunch of Vilamar project is part of GHC’s commitment towards achieving more support, growth and expansion in the real estate sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as it represents a new era for the company and the real estate market in the Kingdom as a whole.

Villamar @ The Harbour is one of the flagship projects of GHC and an integral part of the Company's portfolio of projects. Valued at USD 700 million Villamar @ The Harbour is the Kingdom of Bahrain's most advanced and exclusive residential complex spread over 35,900 square meters at the landmark Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH). Being built on an island in the heart of the business district of Manama, the capital of Bahrain, and directly along the waterfront of the BFH, Villamar @The Harbour includes five main elements. This includes the Twisting Towers, Lifestyle Apartments, Terraced Villas, Terraced Podium and Sky Villas. Featuring state-of-the-art engineering and architectural designs, Villamar @The Harbour will consist of one to five-bedroom apartments and other key facilities such as a super penthouse, health club and spa, swimming pools, manicured gardens and several recreational spaces. Additionally, the boardwalk will be a major public attraction, featuring indoor and outdoor cafes, restaurants and boutique retail spaces with shaded and air-cooled walkways, water features, a sizable on-site car park and landscaped plazas.

 
Executive Board Member, Majed Al Khan during a press conference ...
Executive Board Member, Majed Al Khan during a press conference

Mr. Majed Al Khan, Executive Board Member of Gulf Holding Company (GHC), the developer of Villamar Project in Bahrain, said: “The company has made significant progress since the signing of the final Sukuk restructuring agreement between GHC and ‘GFH Financial Group’, the main project sponsors, and ‘Al Rajhi Bank’, the original project financier on Dec 4, 2016. Other key consultants for the project were appointed. These included COWI for consultancy services for the construction on the integrated residential complex, Projacs International as the project management consultant and Haj Gulf as the cost management consultant”.

Mr. Al Khan also assured the target handover date for Phase 1 is still on schedule as per the original plan which is expected to take 24 months in total and will include completing entire structural works, external and internal finishes for both tower B and common areas. Phase 1 will allow GHC to hand over tower B to existing buyers and complete a major milestone in the project.”

 Mr. Al Khan mentioned that the project contractor completed major tasks in the last quarter of 2016, including significant progress in "Villamar" with the support of about 350 workers and 50 employees. These tasks included concreting works in the upper floors and the podium level. Moreover, more than 1500 sqm of glazing panels has been installed.

Answering a question about the details of construction works of the project, Mr. Al Khan said: “The contractor has started the slab shuttering in the podium level. Workers started on the slab de shuttering in the 3rd level of the terrace villas. Block & plaster works have been completed in Tower B in selected levels and door frames are being installed in tower B lifts.”

Regarding the glazing panels, Mr. Al Khan explained that further works concluded including the finishing of glass joints with silicon treatment, production of glass panels has seen significant progress at Al Hamad’s Aluminum Factory in Bahrain including the dispatch, assembly and preparation of panels from the factory to the Villamar site thus ensuring the completion of glazing works in a timely manner pointing out that 95% of the glazing panels installation in Tower "B" has been completed.

Mr. Al Khan also added that ongoing inspection of the MEP services is taking place by a specialized team; ongoing maintenance of existing AC Units; duct fabrication and light point works. Plumbing works continue at a steady pace, these include pressure testing of water supply pipes; installation of drainage pipes; pex pipes and water heater pipes in Tower B.

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