Trump Organization, the US company fronted by real estate mogul Donald Trump, has refused to confirm or deny reports it has scrapped its Trump International Hotel & Tower Dubai.

Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of Nakheel, indebted developer behind the project, was reported as saying the $2.9bn project had been cancelled and would be replaced with a shopping mall.

When contacted by Arabian Business, a spokesperson for the New York-based Trump Organization said she couldn’t confirm or deny the cancellation.

The project is however still listed on the real estate magnate’s website as “coming soon”.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Dubai, a 62-storey mixed used building on the Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile, was first announced in 2005.

The project was launched with several star studded gala events in Los Angeles and New York in 2008.

At one point the project’s penthouse became the most expensive property in Dubai with one buyer offering AED11,100 ($3,022) a sq ft, or almost AED110m.

Property prices in Dubai have plunged by more than 60 percent since the onset of the global financial crisis. In December Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) said more than half of the planned projects in the emirate have been cancelled or delayed.

Nakheel was at the heart of its parent company Dubai World’s debt troubles that saw the state-backed conglomerate restructure some $25bn in loans.

In May 2009 Nakheel said work on the residential and hotel project had been suspended indefinitely. Several months later Donald Trump Jr. said that building work on the billion-dollar project would not happen “any time soon” but said he hoped construction would begin in 2011.

“It’s going to take some time…I would say it’s not going to happen any time soon,” he said, adding: “There is a time for a project like that in that location.”

Arabian Business