“Let's forget about 2008,” urges Nakheel chairman


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Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah says a third tranche sukuk is likely to be issued in two months’ time.

Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah says a third tranche sukuk is likely to be issued in two months’ time.

Five years ago, Nakheel’s main problem was keeping up with demand. Back in 2007, anxious buyers queued for as long as twelve hours just for the privilege of handing over cheques for millions of dirhams. The Jumeirah Park project had just launched, and the queue of cars stretched back from Nakheel’s sales centre for several kilometres.

That was then; this is now. At this month’s launch of Nakheel’s newest venture on the Palm Jumeirah - its biggest claim to fame - the queues barely stretched around the counter.

So what went wrong? It’s safe to say it’s not been an easy few years for Nakheel. Famous for raising man-made islands out of the Arabian Gulf, the developer attracted even further unwanted fame globally as it battled to restructure more than US$16bn in debt in the wake of the Dubai property crash.

Fast forward to April 2012, and as chairman Ali Rashid Lootah sits down to announce Nakheel’s latest annual results, it appears things have changed -  at least in terms of the developer’s fortunes anyway.

“We achieved profit of AED1.28bn (US$348.5m)… It has been a good year. We have been doing fantastic across the board, across all of our areas… It is a big sign of the recovery of the market,” he says.

“We see the demand for our properties increase and I can also assure you that 2012, from the early figures we have, is going to be even much better.”

That is partly because, according to Lootah himself, Nakheel has managed to slash contractors’ claims down to just fifteen percent. Within a few short years, Lootah has turned the company around and brought it through a painful restructuring process.

“Our cumulative profit for 2010, plus 2011 - post restructuring - was AED2.25bn (US$612m). Compared to 2010 it is a 53 percent increase,” he states.

The 2011 figure is also up 33 percent and 2012 looks even more positive, particularly as the developer gets back into its core business and the phones start to ring at its sales centre.

“This is the start of the recovery,” says Lootah. “We are launching new projects and people are buying the new product from Nakheel and paying down the 40 percent deposit.”

One of the new projects to capture investor interest is Palma Residences, the first residential project to be launched on the famous Palm Jumeirah since the market crashed four years ago.

Due to be completed in eighteen months, Lootah claims the project sold out 30 percent of its units — which are priced at between AED6m to AED8m each - within a week of being launched.

With sales of AED223m (US$60m) already in the bag and 30 more potential buyers in the pipeline, Lootah says this is a sign that the recovery is fully under way.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Rick


Why have you emptied all the pools, in the area when I have paid! Just because other ppl havent paid... Why should I suffer! I paid up like a mug only to suffer!

You will not get another dirham out of me! I will take you to court for breach of contract, lack of up keep, endangering ppls lives due to dangerous buildings..

Just saying.....

Posted by: Amazed

So Mr Lootah thinks jail for bounced cheques is a good deterrent... didn't his company do the equivalent of bouncing a HUGE cheque of US$16 billion when he couldn't pay back his debt in 2008? Now he says "let's forget 2008".

Posted by: REFUGEE OF NAKHEEL

Dear Mr. Lootah,

I cannot forget 2008 as I have been waiting for my home ever since then. It is ready for possession but YOU will not issue a completion certificate as IFA and Nakheel have a legal spat over the retail space in Golden Mile.

Posted by: Ben Wiseman

RERA should issue stiff fines against any developer who is contract breach and has no respect for the Law. The real Estate market would collapse again if these poeple are allowed to continue to act they do it now.

Posted by: MOOSA

HOW CAN WE FORGET 2008, WHY DID YOU NOT FORGET TO PAY ALL YOUR STAFF BONUSES LIKE YOU HAVE DONE ON THE PAST TWO OCCASIONS , YET YOU CANT COMPENSATE OR PAY US BACK FOR OUR PROPERTIES, HOW CAN YOU JUSTIFY GIVING A BONUS WHEN YOU CANT ACKNOWLEDGE DELAYS AND MORTGAGE PAYMENTS AND GETTING INTO DEBT.. WHY DO YOU NOT COMPENSATE US INSTEAD OF PAYING YOUR STAFF WHO CANNOT EVEN ANSWER EMAILS OR COMMUNICATE. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE ??????????

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