In 2010, Ali Rashid Lootah was handed the reins of Nakheel, a company deep in debt following the 2008 financial crisis. Five years later, the chairman has not only succeeded in turning around the firm’s fortunes, but has also completed a number of projects that stalled in the wake of the crash.
Earlier this year, Nakheel reported that its full-year profit for 2014 jumped to $1bn (AED3.68bn), a 27% hike compared to the previous year.
The firm is now planning to expand its residential leasing portfolio from 17,000 units (2014) to 30,000 by 2017. It has estimated that during the same period, its overall leasable retail space will grow from 232,250m2 to 929,000m2.
Nakheel’s UAE retail developments include Dragon Mart, Ibn Battuta Mall, Nakheel Mall and Hotel, The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands Mall, Jumeirah Village Triangle Mall, and several other neighbourhood malls.
Nakheel is also planning to have 10 hotels and resorts operational across Dubai by 2020, located at Palm Jumeirah, Ibn Battuta Mall, and International City.
In addition, as part of a second large-scale expansion at Ibn Battuta Mall, the firm will add a 93,000m2 mall, a multi-screen cinema complex, a multi-storey car park, and another 370-room hotel to the existing development.