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Work on Deira Island moving forward, says Nakheel chairman

Unec, the main contractor for the Dh4.2 billion Deira Mall project on Deira Island, has already began its preparations on the site. (Courtesy Nakheel)
DUBAI: State-owned developer Nakheel has started work on the first two of up to five resort hotels being planned on its Deira Island manmade island project, according to chairman Ali Rashid Lootah.
“We are starting ourselves,” Lootah said, on the resort sites being developed alongside Spain’s RIU hotels and with Thailand’s Centara, following the signing of deals with the companies.
“One has already started the construction with the soil investigation and piling — RIU. The other one, I think we should go to tender for the first package for the soil improvement tender very soon.”
Deira Island is a scaled down version of the Palm Deira project announced during the height of the Dubai property boom in 2007.
The operating partners for the three remaining hospitality projects have yet to be finalized. “The other plots we have allocated for future partnerships. We are talking to people, but at least we have two serious partners,” he said.
Elsewhere on Deira Island, Unec, — the main contractor for the Dh4.2 billion Deira Mall project — has already began its preparations on the site after it was awarded the deal to build the 10.3-million square foot center in April this year.
“The soil improvement package is about to be done and then the contractor will mobilize,” he said. “I think before the end of the year, the contractor will start.”
Lootah also expects an award to be made for the 22 towers containing 2,900 apartments it is planning to build either side of the mall as part of the renamed Deira Central (formerly Deira Boulevard) project. This includes 16 residential, two hotel and four serviced apartment towers — all of which are being retained by the developer for its recurring income portfolio. It will also sell 28 more plots around the site to third-party developers.

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