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Ali Rashid Lootah

Ali Rashid Lootah

Chairman, Nakheel
Fatima Obaid Al Jaber
Dr Jawaharlal Gangaramani

If the overriding trend of the past 12 months has been about the return to prominence of the developers, then nowhere is this more apt than at Nakheel.

Speaking as the firm recorded a further 62% hike in first quarter revenues to $600m, chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said that Nakheel “remained focused on implementing our sustainable, realistic long term business strategy, which is fundamental to the growth of Dubai’s real estate sector”.

The company, which had been labouring under a $16bn debt burden as part of Dubai World until it completed a refinancing in August 2011, has benefited more than most from the improvement in land values. In 2012, the company’s revenues grew by 91% to $2.1bn, and its profits climbed by 57% to around $550m.

The improved performance of the developer responsible for the Palm Jumeirah has allowed it to continue to pay down debts , as well as generating enough cash to allow it to re-start a swathe of stalled projects.

It has pledged to deliver 3,000 units at ongoing schemes such as Jumeirah Village Circle as well as announcing expansions at the Ibn Battuta shopping mall and at its Dragon Mart development.

It has also brought forward a number of new schemes at Palm Jumeirah, such as the proposed new $680m shopping mall and a $217.8m leisure complex known as The Pointe, as well as a series of beachfront units called Club Vista Mare.

During the past 12 months, Lootah has also overseen the conclusion of a long-running saga to refinance fellow development company Limitless’s debts, where he is chairman. Both were previously part of Dubai World, although it was left out of the 2011 restructuring.

Limitless eventually completed its own $1.2bn debt refinancing last October, and has subsequently announced development deals for previously-stalled projects in Moscow and Vietnam.

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Construction Week - Issue 765
Jun 29, 2020