Dubai Properties to spend US$1.1 billion annually

DUBAI: State-owned Dubai Properties, a unit of Dubai Holding, plans to spend up to 4 billion dirhams (RM3.73 billion) annually in the next three years on its future plans, an Arabic-language daily said on Jan 24.

Citing the company's chief executive Khalid al-Malik, Al Khaleej newspaper said the company would depend on self-financing to execute projects within its existing plans.

Dubai has been at the centre of a debt storm since flagship conglomerate Dubai World rocked global markets on Nov 25, 2009, by asking creditors for a standstill agreement on US$26 billion (RM88.56 billion) worth of debt.

Fears that Dubai's debt problems are not limited to the conglomerate have hit investor confidence in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Holding, owned by the emirate's ruler, is undergoing a transformation to help it weather the crisis.

"The group's financial solvency is still strong and we are dependent on self-financing derived from returns on investments and our different projects," Malik said in an interview.

He ruled out any plans to tap financing from banks.

Malik said the company had a three-stage plan to restructure its current and future business both locally and internationally. The first phase and a good part of the second have been finalised, he said.

"The third phase will focus on delivering projects that are close to completion and handover deadlines," he said.

He added the company's future focus would be to have a diversified business model that would include residential and commercial properties, tourist destinations and mixed-use projects. -- Reuters

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