Nakheel to restart work on major projects

Chairman sees a bright future after 'tough few years'

NEWS, Projects, Azure residences, Club vista mare, Dubai. construction, NAKHEEL, Palm Deira, The pointe

Dubai’s Nakheel is aiming to restart work on its major manmade island master developments, delivering 4,860 homes worth $3.6bn by 2016 and repaying $3.5bn worth of debts within five years, the chairman of the state-backed developer said in an interview.

“We’ve had a tough few years but we have recovered,” Ali Rashid Lootah said in an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper. “This is new Dubai and new Nakheel... We have lots under construction and more to be built.”

The report said Nakheel plans to deliver 4,860 homes worth a total of $3.6bn over the next three years, at developments such as Azure Residences, Club Vista Mare and The Pointe.

Work is also scheduled to restart on its biggest manmade palm island, the Palm Deira, which was started during 2007 but was mothballed during the property crisis of 2008, which saw prices fall by up to 60% and around half of projects stalled or cancelled.

Its other high profile manmade projects – The World and Palm Jebel Ali – will also be restarted soon once the market recovers fully, with 70% of the islands on The World already sold, Lootah said.

The state-backed developer restructured $16bn worth of debt in 2011 and since then it has delivered 7,000 of the 8,000 homes it promised. “We promised $2.7bn of property. We have delivered more than $2bn,” he said.

After negotiating with creditors, Lootah said around $3.5bn in debt “will be paid off within five years”, mainly on the back of rising profits, which rose 50% to $482m in the first nine months of 2013.

“Dubai has recovered much faster than any other part of the world because there is no alternative to it in this region,” Lootah said.

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