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Mon 22 Aug 2016 01:44 PM

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'We are now a debt-free company', says Nakheel chairman

Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah says the developer has finished $16bn recovery from crisis

'We are now a debt-free company', says Nakheel chairman
Ali Rashid Lootah, chairman of Nakheel.

State-owned property developer Nakheel, which was at the centre of Dubai's debt crisis in 2009, has finished recovering from a $16 billion debt restructuring by repaying an Islamic bond this month, its chairman said on Monday.

Ali Rashid Lootah told a small group of reporters that Nakheel had transferred funds for repayment of a 4.4 billion dirham ($1.2 billion) sukuk issue maturing this month.

"We are closing the restructuring file," he said. "We are a debt-free company as of yesterday."

Lootah said: "Today is undoubtedly one of the biggest milestones in our history. Our debt-free status is a true testament to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the trust that he and the Government of Dubai placed in our company. Without it, we would simply not be in the position we are in today.

"We are also ever thankful to the trade creditors, lenders, investors, business partners and regulatory authorities who trusted and supported us throughout, and played a significant role in the successful implementation of the business plan adopted in August 2011.

"In six years since, since March 2010, Nakheel has achieved what some considered impossible: completion - ahead of time - of one of the largest, most complex financial restructuring exercises, followed by the successful execution of a new business plan that placed us on a new path to growth.

"As we close the curtain on our restructuring programme, we look forward to starting a fresh chapter in which we are stronger and more resilient than ever."

Nakheel was one of the developers worst hit by Dubai's real estate crash at the turn of the decade, forcing the firm into a massive debt restructuring. A strong rebound in the property sector then allowed the company to pay off its debt and although the real estate market has now turned down again, the slump is not nearly as deep as the 2009 crash.

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Ali 4 years ago

Tell us, Mr Lootah about how much you forced companies to cut what you owed to them as agreed by contract? You pressured them to take 20% of what was owed or they would get nothing. Remind us of the service charge fiasco? When you locked innocent tenants out and called the police. Or you could tell us about all the projects you failed to deliver. Or you could tell us about your credit notes? Or you could tell us about maintenance issues? Nakheel is a company that very few people trust. Why could that be?

Telcoguy 4 years ago

@Ali, very, very good points. That explain why some people think that buying property in Dubai is too risky. It is not just a company that did not deliver on its contractual obligations towards either customers or suppliers. It is about the total lack of legal recourse.

Rarara brigade in 3,2,1...

I am James. And my wife is James too. (Sorry could not help)

james 4 years ago

You can't be james, that is not fair, I will complain and HWMBO will tell you too. So there.

Thankfully there is always Telcoguy to keep most of us sane.

Mr Khan 4 years ago

After the 2009 crisis, many of Nakheel's projects were abandoned. Many tens of thousands of investors were caught in limbo, having paid hefty deposits / stage payments on projects which never completed. Investors were crying out for justice as many developers refused to answer phone calls and emails. In a interview with Arabian Business Mr Lootah said and i quote "There is a limit to transparency" ..... sums up Nakheel

ALIBABA 4 years ago

What a scam. Never trust them.

Suresh 4 years ago

Agree with Ali totally. The sad part is there will be enough foolish banks and financial institutions who will come forward and give Nakheel as much money as they want.

What ever Nakheel may say, Morality , Integrity and Honour are concepts they seem to be totally oblivious to. How else can they claim they will be debt free ? Suppliers accepted your unfair and unjust settlements because they had no choice. Nakheel will ALWAYS owe them , Nakheel will never be out of debt to them.