Indebted Dubai developer Nakheel said that most of its customers are “happy” to receive properties they have bought, even if delivery has been delayed by several years, according to a senior company executive.
So far this year the real estate firm has delivered more than 770 properties in the first quarter, and will hand over a further 3,000 before the end of the year in delayed projects such as Jumeirah Vilage and Jumeirah Park.
“Construction is like a marathon, there are stages when you slow down and stages when you speed up,” chief commercial officer Aqil Kazim said in a recent interview with radio station Dubai Eye.
“I think the majority [of buyers], I can safely say, are quite happy, although they received [their properties] a few years later than what was intended.
Nakheel, which specialised in building manmade islands such as the Palm Jumeirah, was one of most high-profile casualties of the emirate’s debt 2009 debt crisis which saw property prices plunge by up to 60 percent. It was forced to scale back some of its grander schemes and in 2011 agreed a $16bn restructuring deal.
Kazim told the show that the company had sought to encourage buyers in delayed or on-hold developments to move their investments to other projects.
“The point is motivating and incentivising people to take something that better suits their requirements today,” Kazim said. “Someone who purchased a property in 2008 might not still want it.”
He denied that any part of the developer’s portfolio was on-hold or stalled, claiming that projects had been prioritised as either “short term” or “long term”. “We no longer have on hold projects. They’re projects that we’ve either delivered or delivering,” Kazim said.
He also insisted that Dubai Waterfront, a mixed use development that started in 2007 and was originally intended to be larger than Hong Kong harbour, was not on hold.
“The Waterfront is not an on-hold project. It’s a very large scale community that has several zones among it. We’ve invested significant sums of money in infrastructure – our investment in infrastructure is more than 55 percent complete,” Kazim said, although he could not provide an update on completion.
In the company’s most recent financial quarter, the Dubai government-owned firm reported a profit of AED491m ($133.4m) in the quarter compared to a profit of AED362m in the corresponding period in 2012.
Revenue for the first quarter was AED2.2bn, up 62 percent from a year earlier.