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Wed 6 Jan 2010 07:49 AM

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Sheikh's firm plans $272m investment in Dubai real estate

Dubai International Holding Company says it is looking for whole projects to invest in.

A private investment company owned by a Dubai sheikh is set to invest more than AED1 billion ($272m) into Dubai's real estate sector in 2010, it was reported on Wednesday.

Dubai International Holding Company, an investment firm owned by Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, plans to invest AED1bn in Dubai in the first half of 2010, Emirates Business reported.

"If you look at all the asset classes internationally, stock markets or anything else, right now the most depressed prices are for properties. We will be investing AED1bn in different projects across Dubai," Sheikh Maktoum told the paper.

"We are looking for whole projects...not bits and pieces. Given the experience we had in the past 18 months, we can assess projects quite well."

Last month, it was reported that Dubai property prices had declined nearly 50 percent in the last year, making it the worst performing real estate market in the world.

The Knight Frank Global House Price Index for Q3 2009 surveyed house prices in 42 countries and Dubai was the worst performer on the list, with prices falling 47 percent year-on-year.

The index showed lower prices in 57 percent of the world's residential property markets, with Dubai prices falling the most, and Israel performing best, recording a 13.7 percent increase.

According to Sheikh Maktoum, his company will not be holding on to the assets in the long term and expects a return on investment of up to 40 percent.

"If you look around, there might be projects that may be in distress, but the problem is to access their viability," he told the paper.

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