Developer puts new projects on hold amid global crisis

But Azizi Investments boss insists all current projects will be delivered.
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 20 Nov 2008 06:51 AM

Azizi Investments, one of the Gulf’s fastest growing real estate developers, has announced it will not launch any new development projects in light of the global economic crisis.

The developer said that its initial ambitious plans for growth in 2009 may be adjusted considering the current worldwide markets, and that it would adopt a "wait and see" approach before launching any new projects. However, the company insisted all its current projects would be completed.

Merwiss Azizi, founder and chairman of Azizi Investments said: “We are still very keen to implement our plans for growth, but this will now happen at a slower pace. We will focus on delivering our existing projects.”

Although sales had fallen in the last quarter, the company stressed that demand for property in Dubai still outstrips supply, as people continue to flock to Dubai – drawn by employment opportunities and the tax free environment.

With the cancellation of some projects by smaller developers, this supply shortage will become even greater within a relatively short timeframe, Azizi added.

He also stated that although Dubai and its developers were being impacted by the current global economic downturn, he believed its strong fundamentals meant that it would suffer less, and for a shorter time, than any other market.

“Dubai’s ports, its infrastructure - including the best airlines and largest airport in the world - and most importantly the safety and security it provides means it has a great future ahead,” he said.

Azizi also said his company was committed to helping any buyers – whether investors or end users – who may be experiencing problems in the current economic climate.

“It is our goal to be flexible, to help buyers affected by the current situation because we know that this situation will change. We are not here to make people’s lives harder, and we know that Dubai will recover quicker than other markets.”

On its website, Azizi Investments says it plans to acquire and develop up to an estimated 15 million square feet by the end of 2008.

This growth, initially, was predicted to continue to an estimated 50 million square feet by 2009 and 100 million square feet by the end of 2010, accumulating a grand total of 165 million square feet by the year 2010.

Projects that the company are involved in include Emirates City, Ajman, Palm Jebel Ali, Dubai World Central and Mina Rashid.

The company's announcement follows news that Palm developer Nakheel was also considering scaling down some of its projects as the global economic downturn continues.

Developers Damac and Omniyat Properties have also announced job cuts while Emaar Properties said it was reviewing its jobs policy.

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