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Thu 4 Feb 2010 11:09 AM

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'40% less units' on France and Spain islands

EXCLUSIVE: Developers of the France and Spain islands on The World cite lack of demand.

IN PICS: Top Mideast property hotspots

Select Group, the developer of the France and Spain islands on The World, has confirmed that it is amending the design of its project and that the number of residential units is likely to be reduced by around 40 percent.

“We are in the middle of changing the design to suit the market conditions,” Rahail Aslan, CEO of Select Group, told Arabian Business.

“We have reduced the density and made it more attractive. It previously had quite a number of units on the project but we have probably reduced it by I would say 40 percent, which means there is much more landscaped area, the buildings are not as dense, apartments are getting better views and it has even made it easier on the utilities,” he added.

Aslan said the decision to reduce the number of units was due to a downturn in demand from buyers.

The France and Spain islands were launched by Select Group in 2008 and are collectively known as Acquitainia. At the time, the private island development was valued at AED5.5bn ($1.49bn) and was said to comprise 816 residential properties and a 75-room boutique hotel.

The World is an archipelago of 300 manmade islands located 4km off the Dubai coastline and designed in the shape of the world map. Launched in May 2003, there are 17 major projects worth more than $30bn currently under development.

On Wednesday, The World’s master developer Nakheel denied reports in the UK press that the development was sinking.

“Speculative reports suggesting that The World islands are sinking are wholly inaccurate,” Nakheel said in a statement.

“The islands were finished some years ago and there has been no subsidence since. A system known as vibro-compaction was used to increase the load bearing capacity of the reclaimed land mass.

The statement also added that the islands, which are visible from space, are not adrift in the Arabian Gulf.

“A suggestion also that some of the islands have slipped and spread into each other is also completely incorrect,” the statement said.

Jessy 9 years ago

It is very important to distinguish between the GCC and the Middle East as a whole (ref to "Top Mideast Property Hotspots in pics). To think that Fujairah is anywhere near as attractive as a "Property Hotspot" to Beirut, Casablanca, Damascus or simply a joke. Lets not use the Middle East and the GCC interchangably as the GCC population barely represents 5% of Middle Easterners.

Saveen 9 years ago

In short, it is not else but 'Cost cutting'.

BRANDO 9 years ago

It might be better for it to downsize, having a bit of space around the buildings will be much nicer and may improve the selling price perhaps? The fronds on Palm Jumierah look way too crowded, If I was paying millions (or even hundreds of thousands) for a house I would'nt want my neighbour within spitting distance thats for sure ! Good luck with it, I hope everything goes well.