Indonesian president Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has named Dubai master developer Emaar Properties as a “big” investor in the country’s new capital city, Nusatara.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Astra Biz Center and the Nusantara Botanical Garden, the president was quoted by multiple local media as revealing that Emaar Properties had committed to investing in the new capital, with a deal expected in a few weeks.

“I don’t want to mention it because I haven’t signed it yet, but it (the investment) is really big,” Jokowi was quoted by English news daily, The Jakarta Post, as saying, adding that the signing will take place in July in the UAE.

Since its announcement in 2019, the plan to relocate Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to the island of Borneo has been mired in controversy and scepticism over concerns of uprooting indigenous communities and tying up political resources. 

The Indonesian President has been drumming up interest from foreign investors to make his plan a success before his final term ends this year.

The $33 billion capital city project will be inaugurated on the Indonesian Independence Day ceremony on 17 August 2024.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Daniel Luiz)