"So for I am very happy with choosing": Karim Ibrahim, the Managing Director of Dream Realty--one of the largest Lebanese-owned businesses in Ghana, talks about his choice of doing business in Ghana.
Q How and why did you come to do business in Ghana?
A "We are one of the biggest developers in Beirut, Lebanon, mainly with properties on the seafront of Beirut. I joined the family business in 2004 and at the end of 2006, we had a major war in Lebanon so we took the decision to find some good investment outside the country while keeping all the projects ongoing in Beirut. Looking for outside opportunities, I went everywhere. I went to the US, Romania, Qatar, Dubai, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. My two options were Jedda in Saudi Arabia and Bucharest in Romania.
Then I met Hayssam Fakhry, our present partner, in Lebanon. He is a Ghanaian and asked me to come and see the situation in Ghana. That was at the end of 2006 or probably the beginning of 2007. Until then I had never thought of Ghana. So I came on his recommendation. Because of my real estate background and my studies (I did a Masters in Urban Economic Development of Capital Cities in Boston), I saw the potential in Ghana. Companies were coming in, and airlines were increasing so fast. There was even a political side to it: the US and China were planting themselves in Ghana. So we decided to cancel the two other options and concentrate on Ghana. We acquired three major plots in Accra in 2007, some time before the announcement of the oil find in Ghana--so the reason wasn't because of the oil. We acquired these plots in Accra...