Real estate & Construction

A new cement factory linked to war profiteer Samer Foz was established in December with a capital of USD 416 million, becoming one of the largest private companies in the country. The Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Protection approved on December 13 the establishment of Modern Cement Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC), a cement manufacturer located in Rural Damascus.
Initial figures appear to indicate that Syria’s cement market, a proxy for construction activity, will contract again this year, despite the earthquake-related reconstruction needs and the investment that was expected after the Arab rapprochement with Damascus.
Earlier this year, a company linked to the Katerji family began construction work on commercial and residential complexes in Marota City. Marota City is an upscale real estate development that is being built on expropriated land and informal settlements in areas that were largely opposed to the government during the Syrian uprising. This luxurious development project launched more than ten years ago has largely failed to attract investment so far, although several regime cronies showed initial interest in it.
Cement sales, a proxy for construction activity, declined by around 10 percent last year, according to data from various sources.
Israel's cabinet unanimously approved a multi-million dollar development plan to double the settler population in the Golan Heights and turn the disputed territory into the “technological capital of renewable energy” in Israel, according to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The Israeli government has moved forward with a new settlement policy that plans to double, and eventually quadruple, the Israeli settler population in the Golan Heights. In opposition to the plan, hundreds of Syrians, most of whom are from the Druze community, in the village of Masada protested against Israel’s policy to increase settlements, while a number of Israeli media outlets have questioned the government’s policy.
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing announced on July 18 that it had signed contracts worth SYP 142 billion--around USD 56.5 million at the official exchange rate -- to build residential towers in the Basilia City real estate development south of Damascus.

Syria has once again hiked prices for Portland cement, although stable production at state-owned factories and a continuous flow of the building material from Lebanon and Turkey has kept supply levels high.