The chairman of Dubai’s Nakheel is claiming he expects more work on its manmade The World project to start next year, with investors even handing over post-dated cheques to the indebted developer.
Ali Rashid Lootah told reporters on Wednesday that Nakheel, which had to be taken over by the Dubai government after it crumbled under a mountain of debt, had completed AED924m of settlements with investors in The World over the last six months.
Out of the 300 or so islands located just off the emirate’s coast, only two have been developed on since the project was launched in 2008. Work ground to a halt due to a combination of the effects of Dubai’s financial crisis and logistical disputes over transporting construction materials to the islands.
“People have come forward and given us post-dated cheques. They want to continue on the project and we are helping them. We are giving them flexibility on payment terms because we want to help kickstart this project,” Lootah was quoted as saying.
He added that many sub-developers were in the process of starting engineering work on the islands, while Nakheel was fielding more enquiries from new investors. “People are not going to give me money, or give me cheques if they are not serious,” Lootah said.
The company said that Nakheel had negotiated trade creditor claims against the company from AED6.5bn to AED1.5bn. “We sit across the table, reach a settlement, they’re happy, we shake hands and we pay them their money,” he added.
Lootah said that Nakheel currently had no plans to revisit stalled projects including Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Deira or Dubai Waterfront.
In its most recent financial quarter, said it made a first-half net profit of AED1.2bn ($327m), up 57 percent on the same period last year.
Revenues for the first half of the year stood at AED4.23bn, up 36 percent.