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Dubai-based Nakheel company expects to largely boost its income to nearly Dh7.5 billion during 2018-2019 after it completes payment of debt to commercial creditors in 2016, its chairman was quoted on Monday as saying.

Rashid Lootah also told the Sharjah-based Arabic language daily 'Al Khaleej' that six new projects would be completed in 2015, including the massive Dragon Mart 2 that complements the existing Dragon market launched several years ago.

He also expected the real estate sector in Dubai, the region’s commercial and business hub, to gain momentum in the first half of 2015 after many “serious” investors returned to buy property in the emirate in April.

Asked whether Nakheel, one of the region’s largest real estate firms, would decide to list its shares on the local stock market, Lootah said “all options in this respect are possible” but any decision would be taken only after the company’s Dh4.4 billion debt is settled at the end of August 2016.

He said the company had already managed to slash interest on its debt from Dh800 million to Dh400 million and that it would reach “zero” on August 31, 2016.

“We expect the company to record high revenue in the next period after the complete payment of the debt,” Lootah said.

He put Nakheel’s income from its property rental at around Dh1.3 billion, adding that it would climb to Dh1.7 billion in 2015 before peaking at Dh7.5 billion in 2018-2019.

“During that period, we will complete new projects worth around Dh19 billion, including Dh14 billion in the retail sector, Dh2 billion in hospitality and amusement and Dhthree billion in the housing sector,” he said.

“Nakheel is pushing ahead with diversification and restructuring to overcome all difficulties, maintain its reputation and bolster Dubai’s position as one of the best cities in the world,” he added.

Asked about Palm Jebel Ali, he said Nakheel would develop the project when its management decides on the right time, adding that nearly 50 per cent of the project investors have decided to move to other investment areas.

He denied accusations about the increase in services and maintenance fees in Nakheel’s property areas, insisting that such fees are still the lowest in the sector. He cited recent data by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority.

He said higher fees imposed on clients wishing to expand their property were because such expansions are expensive, adding that Nakheel is trying to control the high population growth in its Palm Jumeirah area.

Lootah said Nakheel is planning to launch six new major projects in 2015 including the Dragon Mart 2, expansion of Ibn Battuta Mall, Golden Mile in Palm Jumeirah, the Community Centre — International City, Palm Views, Club Vista Mare and the operation of the Pointe Mall and four other malls.

According to the company, new projects have been announced recently worth around Dh14 billion in line with the government’s Vision 2021, including the Dragon Mart and other malls. The company has also announced the leasing of an area of about 1.3 million square feet at Dragon City within the 6.5 million square feet area allocated for that project which also involves car parks, houses, and a 1,200-room hotel.

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