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Nakheel moves to help cash-strapped buyers

Nakheel's Joe Barr (SUPPLIED)

By Sean Davidson

Nakheel will offer payment solutions to its customers who are unable to meet their installment obligations, including offering them free services of a mortgage brokerage company.

Joe Barr, Nakheel's Managing Director for Development Projects, told Emirates Business that the move is part of several measures that the master developer is taking to mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis on its business. This includes adjusting its short-term business plans to accommodate the current financial environment.

"We have the responsibility to do so, and our short-term business model is aligned to meet market demand," Barr said.

Customers unable to make their installment payments for Nakheel projects would be offered several solutions, Barr said.

"We are working closely with investors to find solutions to help them fulfil their financial commitments under the current difficult financial situation. Nakheel is currently offering interested customers the free services of GLN – a mortgage brokerage company – to help them find financial solutions. We are confident that whatever solutions we propose will take into consideration the welfare of all parties concerned," he added.

Barr acknowledged that sales have eased somewhat due to the global banking liquidity issue.

"What we are seeing is a shift in the type of investors. Today's investors are more focused on long-term investment opportunities. We will continue to work on our projects to meet this demand.

"Nakheel is acting responsibly and prudently by reassessing our immediate business objectives to accommodate the current economic climate and meet demand. However, we fully expect banks to spring back into business in 2009, so our long-term business plans will remain unchanged," he said.

On the direct impact the crisis has had on Nakheel's projects under development, Barr said: "Many of our projects are in the construction stages and are planned over the next 10 to 20 years.

"In keeping with our business objective of matching supply and demand in the most effective way, we have announced the merger of a number of Nakheel's business units, which will better address the changing market conditions. This action will not affect ongoing work at our projects."

Asked about the status of Nakheel's proposed 1km tower, which when completed would overtake the Burj Dubai to become the world's tallest building, Barr said: "Further work on the foundations of Nakheel Harbour & Tower will commence in 12 months."

Nakheel's handovers for 2009

- Jumeirah Heights: Handover of first apartments will commence in July 2009

- Jumeirah Park: Seventy per cent of the project sold, with 900 villas to be handed over by the end of 2009. The number of three-,four- and five-bedroom villas in this development totals 2,764 

- Jumeirah Village: December 2008 saw the handover of the first 300 villas. By the end of this year, more than 2,000 villas will be handed over. Seven families have already moved in

- Jumeirah Islands Mansions: 24 mansions to be handed over mid 2009

- 590 berths at Anchor Marina in 2009

- Waterfront – Badrah homes: More than 1,000 homes will be delivered at Badrah Waterfront this year

- Marina Residences: More than 900 homes at Marina Residences, Palm Jumeirah, will be handed over this year. Handover will commence April onwards