"This is one of the biggest projects being performed in Kazakhstan these days, and I'm proud to be its initiator," Ben-Nani told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev decided to move the capital of the central Asian country, which borders China and Russia, from Alma-Ata to the central city of Astana.
The country recently celebrated the 13th anniversary of the new capital, which has 700,000 residents. Hundreds of multi-story buildings have already been built in the city, and it has dozens of wide boulevards and ravishing gardens. Its new big quarter will be built by the Israeli entrepreneur.
The residential quarter will be named "Central Park" and will include 10,000 apartments, as well as parks, schools, two soccer fields and three hotels.
"The entire project will be built through internal financing," said Ben-Nani. "I am not afraid. Whoever's afraid of wolves shouldn't walk into a forest."
Ben-Nani has been living in Astana for the past five years and managing his business from a luxurious office building he owns.
"I'm not an oligarch and I don't like that word," he said. "I am a businessman who knows he is doing and will be doing great business here."
Ben Nani also serves as head of the small Jewish community of Astana, where a luxurious synagogue was built recently, and is in close work relations with Kazakh government officials.
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