Dubai-based developer Nakheel has reduced service charges for investors across its properties in the emirate, the company’s chairman has said.
Charges in Palm Jumeirah have been reduced by 19 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012, while fees in International City have been slashed by 32 per cent, Ali Rashid Lootah told reporters.
“I can claim that we are the cheapest in Dubai,” he said. “And that is really enhancing the value of the property of our investors.”
The state-owned developer has recently received complaints from residents in areas such as Jumeirah Islands for not being transparent about its service charges.
But Lootah denied any discrepancies.
“The process of fixing up the service charge is approved by regulators – the law says that. It is checked by the regulator and independent auditors.
“And if it’s approved by the authority, that’s it. The authority is supposed to represent and take care of the interest of the investors,” he said.
“We are reducing the service charge every year… People should be fair. We are trying to be transparent and squeeze the suppliers and bring down the charges,” he added.
Nakheel, which was badly hit by debts during the financial crisis and the subsequent property crash in Dubai in 2008/2009, was forced to undergo a restructuring process in 2010. But it is now finally recovering its losses.
The firm has settled Dhs6.5 billion worth of claims made by trade creditors, and hopes to sort out the remaining Dhs1.5 billion by the first quarter of 2014.
“We only paid 15 per cent on average, amounting to around Dhs1 billion, so far,” said Lootah.
Nakheel is also in “serious discussions” with three local and international banks to refinance its $2.2 billion debt maturing in 2015. The company is aiming to sign the deal for an extended loan by the end of the year.
The developer also revealed plans to ramp up its retail and hospitality divisions: apart from Nakheel Mall project and The Pointe developments, which were announced earlier this year, Nakheel will soon launch two new midscale hotels – one near Dragon Mart, and the other near Ibn Battuta Mall, said Lootah.
Nakheel posted a 57 per cent rise in profit in the first half of the year, mainly boosted by the increased revenues from the handover of units.