Dubai Ferris Wheel Builder Said to Seek $381 Million Loan

  • Loan to fund Marsa Al Seef project along the Dubai Creek
  • Project includes hotels meant to showcase Emirati heritage

Meraas Holding LLC, a state-backed property developer in Dubai, is raising a 1.4 billion- dirham ($381 million) loan from a group of banks for a project on the Dubai Creek, a banker with knowledge of the deal said.

The loan has a tenor of about 10 years and a principal payment holiday in the initial years, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The cost for the Marsa Al Seef project, including the value of the land, is estimated at 2.8 billion dirhams, he said.

A spokeswoman for Meraas didn’t immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The 1.8 kilometer Marsa Al Seef project, showcasing Emirati heritage and culture, includes three hotels, an open air museum, an amphitheater, cafes and restaurants along the Dubai Creek, according to Meraas’ website. Completion is scheduled for 2017.

Dubai, the Gulf’s tourist and business hub, is pushing ahead with construction projects even as economic growth in the oil-producing region slows after oil prices tumbled. The emirate is developing hotels and entertainment projects as it aims to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020 from 10 million in 2012.

Meraas is also building a Ferris wheel in Dubai to rival the London Eye, while its unit Dubai Parks & Resorts PJSC is constructing theme parks based on Bollywood and Hollywood films.

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