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Dubai’s Nakheel says will complete most new projects in 3-5 years

Dubai’s Nakheel says will complete most new projects in 3-5 years

The developer said property sales in Dubai were “as per expectations”

Dubai developer Nakheel, which has recently announced a string of new projects in the emirate, hopes to complete a majority of them within the next three to five years, a senior official said.

The company unveiled two new projects on the first day of Cityscape including Jebel Ali Gardens, a new community for 40,000 people and The Palm Promenade – a 1.5 kilometres retail and leisure strip along the Palm Jumeirah island’s trunk.

The Jebel Ali project, which includes 42 buildings with 10,000 units, will feature amenities such as swimming pools and basketball and tennis courts. Up to 5 per cent of the overall development will also be green.

“Now the project is in the design stage and we hope to tender it very soon,” Nakheel’s chief commercial officer Aqil Kazim told Gulf Business on the sidelines of the Cityscape exhibition.

He refused to give a completion date, saying the timeline for the project depended on the contractor.

However he confirmed that the majority of Nakheel’s new projects are intended to be completed within three to five years. “We needn’t go beyond that,” he said.

In April this year, Nakheel confirmed that it is planning to undertake 23 million sq ft of new residential and leisure projects worth Dhs 14bn over the next three years. The projects include a 12 million sq ft, 16-tower community at Deira Islands; a 6.5 million sq ft residential, retail and hotel extension to Dragon Mart; and a new 4.7 million sq ft complex within the Ibn Battuta Mall.

Despite reports of a slowdown in Dubai’s property market, Kazim said the company had not dropped its prices and was continuing to post “healthy sales.”

“In terms of sales I have seen a change in the demographic of the investors – I’m seeing more end users – that’s a fact,” he said.

“What we have seen is maybe a decrease is speculator purchases. But overall sales, as far as we are concerned as a business, are as per our expectations… We are healthy and we have no problems in terms of numbers.”

He added: “If there is a price drop, then it’s a correction which is natural in any market.”

Nakheel recently reported a 53 per cent rise in net profit during the first half of the year to reach Dhs 2.83bn, compared to Dhs 1.85bn in H1 2014.

The company credited the increase in profit to a strong performance by its development business, with ongoing handovers of properties to customers.

In terms of new launches, Kazim said Nakheel was confident about its business model.

“We believe every project is unique in its own right and is backed up with some kind of business plan; if we don’t see a need, we won’t do a project.”

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