Majid Al Futtaim Properties, the company behind Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre, is pushing ahead with its regional plans despite the economic downturn.

The firm had drawn up a master plan for a mixed-used development that will be built across a 100-hectare site in the Sabboura Yafour district of Damascus in Syria, and will begin construction over the next 12 to 18 months, said Peter Walichnowski, the chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

An initial $1bn (Dh3.67bn) is expected to be invested in the development, which will include a mix of hotels, offices, homes and retail outlets and will be built in phases over 10 years.

The National