By Michael Fahy
Ernesto Preatoni is best known for developing the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh
Italian property developer Ernesto Preatoni has made his first move into Dubai's property market after buying the 191m-tall Dubai Star Tower within the Jumeirah Lakes Towers development.
Preatoni, who is best known for developing the Sharm El-Sheikh resort in Egypt, has bought 100 percent of the company developing the 48-storey Dubai tower, which had reached its 44th storey at the start of April.
The tower is being built by Al Rashad Contracting company and should complete before the end of 2015.
The project initially appears to have been launched in 2005 by German property fund Alternative Capital Invest. It hit trading problems in the wake of the financial crisis, placing four of its seven funds into bankruptcy proceedings.
Following his purchase, Preatoni said: "Reflecting a rebound in investor appetite for JLT, this strategic acquisition is extremely delighting news to purchasers of Dubai Star Tower as the equity of their homes is automatically raised remarkably given the fact that work was resumed instantly to complete the construction of the project.”
He said it will contain a mix of retail, office and luxury residential units.
“We anticipate huge demand for this tower from investors from all over the world because the Preatoni name spells financial safety, strong reputation and great credentials in Europe and in other many places in the world,” he said.
He added that the firm was planning to invest further in residential and commercial complexes in Dubai.
"This is just the beginning of our investments in the UAE market as we are scouting other projects for long-term investment and ownership."