Iraq opens airport aimed at tourism

Multi-billion dollar project brings airport to southern city of Najaf.

    Al-Maliki said that he hoped other
    provinces would open new airports [AFP]

    "There must be competition among other provinces when it comes to rebuilding their regions," he said.

    The shrine of Iman Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, is in the southern city, and other religious sites are nearby.

    Developers say that 9 million pilgrims visit the locations each year.

    Planners hope that the new airport will increase the number of visitors by 10 per cent annually.

    Al-Aqeelah, a Kuwaiti investment firm, has led the multi-billion dollar project. The firm also plans to build thousands of new homes and hotels in Najaf.

    Kuwait has a large Shia minority.

    Maliki and other government politicians are attempting to promote investment in the country.

    Violence in Iraq is at a four-year low following the US-led invasion of the county in 2003.

    The UN said that foreign direct investment in Iraq was $272 million in 2006.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.