Developer Nakheel re-launches the waterfront project at Palm Deira site.
Developer Nakheel is going to change the artificial island group’s name to Deira Island from Palm Deira. Developer Nakheel will restart work on the Palm Deira, according to the company chairman, as another sign Dubai is bouncing back. Nakheel will rename the manmade island group to Deira Island, Nacheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said at Dubai’s property exhibition show Cityscape. Deira Island will have about 1,400 retail units and restaurants including a night market, plus a 250-room hotel, a 30,000 capacity amphitheater and other attractions. A company-supplied photo of the revamped project does not show any of the palm fronds that defined the original project’s shape. Nakheel will manage the main area and have contractors to develop other parts. Tenders will be announced within six months. When asked if the new plan meant Nakheel had scrapped Palm Deira, Lootah said: “For the time being, we will be developing this project.” In the UAE, developers rarely formally scrap projects — doing so could leave them facing compensation claims from buyers of unfinished developments. “There will be four islands that we have reclaimed,” Lootah said. “Our aim is to support the government’s strategy to promote tourism. So the focus will be on hotels and commercial units.” In May, Dubai’s tourism chief claimed the emirate is to boost its annual income from tourism to 300 billion dirhams ($82 billion) by 2020. Nakheel has finished one of its three palm-shaped islands off the emirate’s coast — Palm Jumeirah — before the global financial crisis. It indefinitely suspended work on the other two larger projects, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira. Lootah said Nakheel would seek to self-finance most of its projects and had no immediate plans to raise funds from the market. On Monday, Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding, owned by the emirate’s ruler, said they would join forces to restart work on The Lagoons, a six million square metre development. Real estate developers have also announced new projects worth tens of billions of dollars in the past year as Dubai’s economy revives in the trade and tourism sectors. Meydan, which runs the opulent racecourse in Dubai that hosts the world’s richest horse race, also opened sales for its new high-rise tower at the property show. Entisar Tower is planned to be about 520 metres high and to become the second tallest in the emirate after Burj Khalifa that stands at about 830 metres. The building will have more than 400 units along with an indoor jogging track and tennis courts.