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Nakheel Considers Funding Options for Retail Projects

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(Corrects attribution, spelling of project name in second paragraph of story first published yesterday.)

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Nakheel PJSC, the indebted developer of artificial islands off Dubai’s coast, is “evaluating finance options” to build retail projects on a palm-shaped peninsula, company spokeswoman Rebecca Rees said today.

Nakheel’s planned projects will cost a total of 3.3 billion dirhams ($898 million) and include a mall on Palm Jumeirah alongside another shopping project called The Pointe, the official WAM news agency reported. In April, Nakheel chairman Ali Lootah said the company was close to reaching a financing agreement with banks to fund the construction of The Pointe, without specifying the amount Nakheel sought to borrow.

Nakheel is trying to secure funds to revive projects on Palm Jumeirah, where demand has improved since property prices in Dubai sank 65 percent from a mid-2008 peak. The developer, which wrote down the value of its real estate by $21 billion from late 2008 through mid-2010, got an $8.6 billion bailout from the Dubai government in 2009 to help avoid default.

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum “ordered the necessary measures to be taken to commence the implementation of the two projects,” the United Arab Emirates official news agency WAM reported today, without saying where the funding will come from. The Nakheel Mall project and The Pointe will cost 2.5 billion dirhams and 800 million dirhams, respectively, WAM said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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