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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

‘Mini-Dubai’ to Rise in Budapest as UAE-Hungary forge EUR5bn deal


In a landmark agreement aimed at bolstering economic ties, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hungary have sealed a new deal to foster trade and investment, heralding a significant economic collaboration between the two nations. The accord, inked by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, focuses on elevating bilateral relations and stimulating growth across pivotal sectors such as industry, commerce, investment, tourism, logistics, infrastructure, and real estate.

The pact aims to amplify non-oil trade, which has experienced a remarkable surge in recent years, reaching over US$1.127 billion in 2023, marking a threefold increase from $409 million in 2019. Al Zeyoudi emphasized that the agreement lays the foundation for expanded trade and investment opportunities, harnessing the economic potential of both nations. He underscored the mutual aspiration for sustainable economic expansion and collaboration between the private sectors of the UAE and Hungary. Szijjártó hailed the UAE as a pivotal trade partner for Hungary in the Arab region and expressed optimism about the prospects of bilateral relations. He lauded the agreement as a significant milestone, paving the way for fruitful cooperation in priority sectors, fostering diversified and sustainable economic ties.

The focal point of this burgeoning collaboration includes the development of a ‘Mini-Dubai’ in Budapest, a monumental undertaking spearheaded by a UAE company as part of the EUR5 billion deal. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto unveiled this ambitious project following the signing ceremony with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade. The envisioned urban district will be situated near the Rákosrendező railway station in the Hungarian capital.

During a joint press conference, Szijjarto emphasized the importance of establishing a flagship project to strengthen economic cooperation, citing the construction of a new Budapest district as a prime example. He articulated that the agreement will provide the framework for a comprehensive development plan led by the real estate development giant Eagle Hills in the vicinity of the Rákosrendező railway station.

Reports from local media outlet Hungary Today quoted the minister, stating, “This is a EUR5 billion investment. It will create a new district, a new neighborhood around the Rákosrendező railway station and the surrounding derelict industrial areas.” While Hungarian media suggests that Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government may allocate between EUR800 million to 1 billion for the development, official figures remain undisclosed.

Initially disclosed in 2023 by Hungarian Minister Janos Lazar, the project was estimated to cost approximately EUR1 billion, with the objective of revitalizing and elevating the neighborhood, which had been abandoned. Lazar underscored Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s vision to transform the district into a reflection of Dubai’s distinctive style.

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