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Nakheel to start building again on Palm island in Dubai

Major Dubai developer Nakheel has announced plans to start rebuilding on its iconic Palm island development, the first activity since it received a government bailout in 2009.

The Pointe development will include shops, computer controlled fountains, a marina and a public walk on the tip of the palm shaped island, chairman Ali Rashed Lootah confirmed.

He said that Nakheel is in talks with banks to raise at least AED300 million ($82 million) for the project, which will be operated by the company when it’s completed.

Located across the water from the Atlantis hotel, The Pointe will also a new station for the monorail running up the centre of the palm shaped island and parking for 1,200 cars and should be completed in 18 months.

Meanwhile the owner of the Asia group of islands on another troubled Nakheel project, The World, has put them on the market for an asking price of AED105 million ($28.6 million). Part of that, some AED80m must be paid to Nakheel as part of the land’s payment plan.

No construction has begun on the 36,661 square meter island although planning permission is in place for a series of hotel and residential developments.

Work on The World slowed to a virtual standstill in the wake of the economic downturn in 2008 as owners struggled to secure financing to develop the islands. Just two buyers have begun construction work.

Kleindienst Group, the developer behind the six island Heart of Europe Project, has work underway and Indian tycoon Wakil Admed Azmi has a AED68 million beach club on the island of Lebanon due to open later this month.

Five islands were put up for sale last July at discounts of up to 17% on their original sale prices. Nakheel also said last August that a number of owners had defaulted on payments.

The state owned developer has a number of legal battles linked to the offshore project, including one lawsuit against Kleindienst Properties which demands almost $200 million in unpaid instalments and delay fees.

Most of the islands are sold but have been done so with various payments plans, with Nakheel reckoned to only have received 15 to 20% of the agreed prices so far.

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