The urgent need for housing in Iraq is clear for all to see, with one government estimate putting the demand as high as 2.5 million new units by 2015, but who are the people who will supply that demand?
Iraq Business News recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of the main players in Iraq's new housing boom: Mohammed Alkhouzai is the driving force behind AMH Group which, along with a consortium of multinational companies, is preparing to break ground on an exciting new project to build more than 10,000 housing units in Diwaniya.
Mohammed's enthusiasm is infectious; he clearly has a passion for the development of Iraq, and has been working on this scheme since 2003. “Many of the problems in Iraq can be solved by giving the people what they need most -- productive jobs and decent housing”, he told us.
Although he has been living abroad for many years, Mohammed maintains a close connection with his ancestral home of Diwaniya, where his family roots go back a long way.
But that is not his only reason for selecting Diwaniya. This city of over 1.1 million people is considered the Capital of the Iraqi Tribes, and for many it represents the heart of Iraq. “In Diwaniya”, Mohammed explains, “we can bring the people together in the task of creating better conditions for everyone”.
“We have backing from several major European and US banks, and we are one of the first companies to have our plans approved by the National Investment Commission (NIC) … A guarantee from the government, via the NIC, is expected in the coming weeks, and as soon as we receive it we are ready to start construction – 10,000 units are just the first phase.”
Iraq Business News wishes Mohammed every success with this initiative, and we look forward to reporting on his progress.