Nakheel rides the wave at Deira Islands
Its joint ventures for hotel projects expected to be catalyst for other investors
Published: 13:35 September 10, 2015 Gulf News
By Gulf News
Dubai: Having just confirmed two joint ventures with hotel operators on Deira Islands, Nakheel is keeping options open for additional hospitality projects there.
“The two properties represent 1,250 rooms and that’s a sizeable base to start with,” said Sanjay Manchanda, CEO. “We will look at any opportunity to top up our hospitality-specific exposure on Deira Islands.
“But more important, our commitments will, hopefully, pull in other investors to take up their own positions on the development. When they see the kind of exposure we are building up there, they will soon want to come in on their own and building something on the beachfront.” (It was in March last year that Nakheel launched plot sales for hotel projects on the “Islands”.) But the CEO said no timeline has been set for the launch of residential sales there — “We will wait to see how the market pans out — that will help decide the ideal timing,” said Manchanda.
“There are a lot of people with fond memories of Deira — in many ways we are reigniting those memories through the Islands.
“The response to the leasing of the Night Souq outlets was outstanding, and we have already started work on the Deira Mall, which is going to be a large development.
“It’s all starting to take shape.”
Meanwhile, its other mall under development — the flagship Nakheel Mall on Palm Jumeirah — is completely pre-leased. The Mall will add a whopping 1.2 million square feet of net leasable area to Dubai’s retail stock. It is due for completion end-2016.
“Clearly, retailers don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to move into one of the prime destinations in Dubai and with such a large space on offer,” said Manchanda.
“At the same time we are trying to be selective with the tenant mix — we would prefer not to have more of the same. The mix will reflect our strategy to bring in newer names into Dubai and thus add more competition in the market.”