Eagle Hills, a company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been selected as a possible partner for the “City within the City” development project in Zagreb, the Zagreb mayor’s office said in a press release on Wednesday. The commission responsible for examining letters of intent found that this company has the best references for future cooperation because of the way its projects treat urban zones. The commission received three offers, two of which met the requirements of the public call, these being Bouygues Batiment International from France and Eagle Hills from the United Arab Emirates. References provided by the latter company prove its extraordinary experience in development projects relating to urban regeneration in fast-growing cities, the press release said.

The next step should be agreeing the wording of a memorandum of understanding and its signature. Eagle Hills includes a group of investors from Abu Dhabi who are behind the “Belgrade Waterfront” project. The company is run by Mohamed Alabbar, the founder of Emaar Properties, which among other things owns the Burj Khalifa skyscraper and the Dubai Mall, and its representatives have attended municipal government meetings in Zagreb.

The purpose of the “City within the City” project is to transform the area of 1.1 million square metres covering the Zagreb Trade Fair complex and the Hippodrome horse racing venue “into a new innovative mixed-use urban zone for various complementary purposes”. The call for expression of interest said that Novi Zagreb, the part of Zagreb south of the River Sava, does not have sufficient public, social, cultural, entertainment, commercial, sports and recreational facilities to meet the needs of its 120,000 residents, and that the planned project would improve the overall quality of life in the city.