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Sun 6 Sep 2009 05:05 PM

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City of Arabia says loan facility yet to be used

EXCLUSIVE: $5bn project developer says building work moving 'full steam ahead'.

The $5bn City of Arabia project in Dubai has yet to draw on its loan facility with a Mashreq-led syndicate of banks.

To date, developer Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group (IMGG) has only used its own funding to finance the project, which is part of the Dubailand entertainment complex.

The loan facility will be used as required, a spokesperson said.

“We would like to emphasise again that construction work at City of Arabia is moving full steam ahead,” he said.

Around 1,500 people are currently working on the project. Construction work is moving ahead “quickly” on Wadi Walk, City of Arabia’s eight km canal waterfront community which will include apartments, cafes and retail outlets, the company said.

Foundation works have begun following the completion of soil testing, excavation and shoring works.

Work is also under way on 3 out of 34 planned high-rise commercial and residential buildings.

In recent weeks the most dramatic sign of the progress being made on site has been the rise of the superstructure for Mall of Arabia, which is set to become the biggest shopping mall in the world.

The company has cut back on consultancy services but lead consultants P & T Group will continue to play a key role in the project, the developer said.

Project management firm Hill International on Thursday told Construction Week that the company had quit working on the project.

IMGG on Sunday reiterated that it is revisiting the contract with Hill with the intention that they continue as project managers.

City of Arabia said last week that adjustments have been made to the overall development in view of the global economic climate, but that the four key parts - Mall of Arabia, Restless Planet, Wadi Walk and Elite Towers - remain the same.

IMGG is one of the main businesses of the Galadari family, whose history in the UAE business community dates back to the 1940s.

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