Nakheel to house 3 million

Palm Jumeirah properties have appreciated by up to 500 per cent, with the costliest villa valued at Dh45 million (JOSEPH J CAPELLAN)

Nakheel expects to deliver homes for three million people over the next five years, according a top company official.

Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of Nakheel, the project's developer, said: "Over the next five years our activities will be focused on Dubai. We will be delivering homes for three million people across 3.5 billion sq ft of land and have plenty to keep us occupied."

He said currently the real estate developer has more than $80bn of land under development.

Palm Jumeirah properties have appreciated by up to 500 per cent and the costliest property on the island development and probably the most expensive of its size in the UAE – is valued at Dh45 million.

"Properties on the Palm Jumeirah have reached record prices, with some selling for up to Dh45m," Bin Sulayem told Emirates Business.

"These are now highly desirable properties, with prices skyrocketing over the past 18 months as people have actually moved in and can experience the lifestyle for themselves."

He added that the price of islands on Nakheel's most exclusive off-shore development, The World, ranged from $20 million (Dh73m) to $50m – placing them firmly in the super luxury category.

"Since the handover of every single one of the first phase properties on the Palm Jumeirah – 4,000 in total – we have seen premiums reach 500 per cent in some cases," added Bin Sulayem. He said the first buyers of villas on the Palm Jebel Ali were already seeing premiums of 100 per cent.

"We believe this a direct result of the handover on the Palm Jumeirah, where already 2,000 families have moved in. The Palm Jebel Ali provides a further opportunity to be part of this and I believe that as our other projects reach similar stages of completion we will see these properties becoming increasingly valuable.

"It's important to remember we are still a relatively young firm, just six years old, but we have achieved remarkable brand recognition.

"We have been approached to co-invest by firms around the world and we aim to capitalise on our intellectual property, experience, and expertise to diversify globally."

He added Nakheel is also looking at the option of creating real estate investment trusts (Reits) – particularly a Dh2bn infrastructure Reit by the end of the year and a Dh800m residential Reit in 2009.

The numbers

$80bn: The firm has land worth this figure under development

3m: People will live in homes delivered by Nakheel in the past five years