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Tecom remains committed to SmartCity Kochi project

Al Mulla joins the Dubai Holding Corporate Office as Chief Business Development Officer

Image Credit: GN Archive
Ahmad Bin Byat and Lizzie Jacob sign the agreement as V.S. Achuthanandan looks on. SmartCity aims to secure the participation of global IT and media brands.
Gulf News

Dubai: The SmartCity Kochi project is still on track, according to top officials.

Abdul Latif Al Mulla, CEO of Tecom Investments, has rejected recent media reports indicating the project has moved from Tecom to Dubai Holding.

The reports surfaced following the announcement that Al Mulla had joined the Dubai Holding Corporate Office as Chief Business Development Officer.

Al Mulla said on Tuesday that the SmartCity Kochi project in Kerala will continue to remain a direct part of the Tecom portfolio.

“The published reports are not true and the Kochi project will remain part of the Tecom portfolio,” he told Gulf News.

“Tecom is committed to the Kochi project,” added a Tecom spokesperson.

Tecom and Kerala Government have been in discussions over Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status for the entire project. According to the proposed plan of action approved by both the Kerala government and the Smart City Dubai, the pavilion is already late by three months.

According to Tecom, the masterplan and Phase 1 construction are part of the agenda for the next SmartCity Kochi board of directors meeting, where a decision on the next steps forward pertaining the Masterplan and Phase 1 construction will be concluded.

“The important thing was to get the entire project containing 246 acres of land as a single SEZ, but only 132 acres has been notified as SEZ,” said Baju George, managing director, SmartCity (India).

A final decision on the single SEZ notification will need for a special meeting of the India’s Union Commerce Ministry, Revenue Department, the Kerala government and SmartCity.