Local banks still not lending

File picture of a construction site. Many developers in the UAE have found it hard to raise funds post the financial crisis. (REUTERS)

Local banks are still not willing to fund property projects even if they are commercial sense, says Dubai Pearl Chairman.

“Banks here are still not willing to lend… they are yet not open to fund any project even if they are feasible ones,” Abdul Majeed Al Fahim told Emirates 24|7.

The developer of Dh13-billion Dubai Pearl project, who expect completion by 2014, has already initiated talks with a number of parties to sell its leisure and retail assets to raise funds.

“We are in talks with a number of parties, but we are not in a rush to close the deal. We are trying to negotiate and get the best.”

Although Dubai Pearl has tied up with a number of international brands such as Bellagio, MGM Grand Hotels and Skylofts, it has only launched the “Baccarat” brand until now.

“We have five more brands and we will launch them only when the time is right. We are in talks with more brands and tie ups will be announced when everything is finalised.”

Continuing with the market trend of reducing sale prices, the developer has dropped Baccarat residences prices by 40 per cent to Dh3,600 per square feet from highs of Dh5,800 per square feet.

According to Al Fahim, the project on completion will create an estimated 12,000 jobs, with the company looking to fill most of the jobs by recruiting locals.

“We have seven hotels within our project… our priority will be to recruits the nationals and then look for other nationalities.”

Asked if they were looking for a brand ambassador for the project, company Chairman said they will not be associating with any international sportsperson or Hollywood star to promote their project.

“We do have international stars who have bought apartments in our project, but we would not have someone just for namesake. We have tied up with the best brands who will give the best service to our residents,” he added.

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