Dubai-based conglomerate the Habtoor Group will resume work on an AED1bn hotel project on the Palm Jumeirah, its chairman has said.
The project, which will be funded by the Habtoor Group, will be the first of several announcements to be made before the end of the year, Khalaf Al Habtoor told Arabian Business.
“The Habtoor Group and I are committed to participating [in Dubai real estate] and meeting my commitments by adding more projects, which we are going to announce soon. I’m going to say before the end of the year. This is the first of it and this is not the biggest, this is the warm-up,” he said.
“This is funded from our own cash flow, it is not funded by any banks,” he added.
The five star hotel, which is expected to open to guests by 2013, will include a spa, private beach, six restaurants and a nightclub, said the group.
Construction work on the 330-room hotel was stalled in the wake of Dubai’s debt crisis, which saw property prices in the emirate decline by more than 60 percent from their 2008-peak.
Almost half of all projects in the emirate were cancelled or put on hold, as bank loans were called in and developers struggled to pay contractors.
US property broke Jones Lang LaSalle last week said the real estate prices in Dubai were close to bottom, aided by safe-haven investors fleeing political unrest in the wider Middle East.
Habtoor in April said Dubai’s real estate prices would start to stabilise as investors look for a safe haven amid the political turmoil in the region.
“There is a lot of demand [for property] now. Dubai and the UAE is a safe haven for a lot of people in the region,” he said.
“The inflow cash flow is improving…property is definitely going to improve,” he added. “Egyptian businessmen they will move their offices in the UAE and especially to Dubai. Take other [countries] like Syria, Bahrain definitely they are moving and we can see that already.”
The Habtoor Group is a holding company for businesses ranging from construction, hospitality, automotive and real estate, run by Habtoor. In 2007, Habtoor sold a 45 percent stake to Australia’s Leighton Holding for $707m.