Dubai-based Investment Group Overseas said on Wednesday the merger of its partner Emaar Properties with fellow UAE firms will not derail a Syrian development worth about $1.1bn.

Emaar, the Gulf region's second-largest developer by market value, pulled out of Algeria earlier in July citing slow progress in a $20bn project after announcing in June it planned to tie-up with three property firms by the end of 2009.

Speaking to Reuters on Wednesday, IGO managing partner Anas Kozbari said Emaar-IGO was still aiming to complete the first phase of the Eighth Gate project, which will include the new Damascus Stock Exchange, by April 2010.