Dubai Lagoon chiefs vow: 'No more delays'

Schon Properties insist global crisis will not cause more setbacks to delayed project.
Dubai Lagoon chiefs vow: 'No more delays'
By Tamara Walid
Tue 02 Dec 2008 06:22 AM

The developer behind the much-delayed Dubai Lagoon project has vowed that the global economic crisis will not cause further setbacks to the scheme.

Bosses at Schon Properties, who came under fire earlier this year from disgruntled investors after long delays to the $598 million plan, added that they were "glad" about the current slowdown to the local real estate market.

Residential units which were initially scheduled for completion by December 2007 are now expected to be delivered in 2011.

Danial Schon, vice president, told Arabian Business: “We’re actually kind of glad about the situation going on because it’s helping us focus on the construction and consolidation of our existing portfolio of projects, meaning construction and delivery.”

He added: “We’re hiring the standard number of people. We are laying some people off and hiring others, but nothing out of the ordinary.”

Schon confirmed the company’s projects in Dubai are on schedule and will be delivered on time. The company’s projects include Schon Business Park, Schon Residences in Downtown Jebel Ali and Dubai Lagoon.

He said the correction was “very good for the Dubai market” and that it was “healthy” as it would help root out speculators. “It was bound to come,” he noted.

His comments come as one of the emirate’s largest developers, Nakheel, announced that it was laying off 500 people, comprising 15 percent of its work force.

The developer added it was also scaling back construction work on projects. Damac and Omniyat Properties had previously announced redundancies.

Schon added: “We don’t have major problems in terms of payments coming in. Most of our customers are paying on time and few are not. The only way to get through a recession or negativity in the market is to put our hands together and work with our customers and people.”

He said he was convinced the situation would ease early next year when he believed banks would loosen their tight control on lending.

On job cuts announced by other developers, Schon said those companies had hired people to meet their expansion plans, which have come to a halt.

“I think if any place has the probability of the least impact in terms of job cuts it is Dubai because it’s still a booming city. The city is still under construction.”

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