50 of The World island owners ‘looking to build’…

The owners of about 50 manmade islands at Dubai’s The World are looking for joint venture partners to begin construction immediately, the developer of The Heart of Europe has revealed to Arabian Business.

The 300 manmade islands project, about 4 kilometres off the coast of Dubai, was launched by Dubai developer Nakheel at the height of the emirate’s property boom and celebrities, business people and developers worldwide invested in the company’s ambitious vision.

But work on the islands stalled during the real estate crash in 2008-09.

Kleindeinst Group is the first to launch plans for a permanent resort at The World, with its project to cover six islands.

CEO Josef Kleindienst said momentum had “definitely, definitely” been lost but interest among non-developer owners was rising again.

“There are approximately 50 islands [where] if they could find the right joint venture partner they would go ahead [with construction] now,” he told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview.

Kleindienst said while real estate development had come back to life in the emirate, firms were preferring to stick to the mainland.

“We are in discussion with most of the island owners and we understand their position: most of them if they’re in the real estate business then they are quite busy with projects in Dubai, which means that The World, which has another level of complication if you want to develop out there, is not their focus,” he said.

“It’s the same [for] Nakheel; it’s quite busy with a lot of other master developments, so the focus is not there yet.”

However, Kleindienst is confident all of the islands will eventually be developed.

“These 300 island will be completed sooner or later,” he said.

“If I was the master developer I would not be bothered if this is sooner or later because this project has its location, its quality, its vision and it doesn’t go away, which means it’s 300 islands sitting out here and clients will come.

“If you look at time, the Palm Jumeirah started construction somewhere in 2004, so that means 10 years later it’s still not completed, so let it take 20 years to complete The World.”

Nakheel is believed to be working on plans to build a road link to the islands, which could help speed up interest in development. Source: Arabian Business