Dubai’s Nakheel to start Palm Mall, double Ibn Battuta

Indebted real estate firm says it will hand over 4,500 units over the next 12 months
Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah.
By Shane McGinley
Wed 02 Jan 2013 12:42 PM

Indebted Dubai developer Nakheel is to hand over up to 4,500 units in 2013, start work on its mall on Palm Jumeirah and double capacity at Ibn Battuta Mall, the firm's CEO confirmed.

"We have roughly about 8,500 to 9,000 units to finish in our 'green' projects… We have handed over almost 4,500 to 5,000 units and the balance will be handed over in 2013," CEO Sanjay Manchanda told Emirates 24/7.

"Last year, the Palm Mall was in the design stage and hopefully we should be in the position to launch it by early 2013. We have all our community centres under construction and are looking at other opportunities that are demand driven," he added.

In October, Nakheel launched a tender for the construction of its 160,000 sqm shopping mall planned for Palm Jumeirah. Architectural practice RSP was appointed to design the mall under a US$6.8m contract in April.

It declined to comment on the issue of a tender for contractors, but when announcing the award to RSP in April last year, it said that work would start in 2013 and would complete in 2014.

At the time, CEO Sanjay Manchanda said: “The Palm Mall will be major addition to the ever-growing number of facilities and attractions on our flagship development, and we are proud to engage RSP to design what will undoubtedly be a big draw for Palm residents and visitors."

Dragon Mart, a major retail centre that wholesales Chinese-made products in the emirate, is to undergo a AED600m expansion, the report added.

Nakheel in October said its net profit for the first nine months of 2012 almost doubled to AED1.1bn, helped by property handovers and growing business in its retail and leasing segment. Revenue for the period was up to AED5.4bn, compared to AED2bn in the same period last year.

In mid-2012, Nakheel announced plans for The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah, a retail project which will be located across the water from the Atlantis hotel and will include 120 restaurants, 75 shops, a marina and a public walk on the tip of the palm-shaped island.

Chairman Ali Rashed Lootah said Nakheel was in talks with banks to raise at least AED300m (US$82m) for the project, which will be operated by the company when it’s completed.

“The retail sector is strategic for Nakheel,” Lootah said, adding the company is looking to increase its sources of recurring income.

The plan includes a new station for the monorail running up the center of the palm-shaped island and parking for 1,200 cars.

Nakheel expects the new project to be completed in about 18 months, Lootah said.

During late 2011, Nakheel also appointed Arif and Bintoak Consulting Architects and Engineers to supervise the building of two shopping centres at its Jumeirah Park and Discovery Gardens projects, it said.

The Jumeirah Park shopping centre will provide 50,000 sqft for stores serving both the Jumeirah Park and Jumeirah Island communities. The 140,000 sqft Discovery Gardens mall will cater to the local and Al Furjan communities, Nakheel said.

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