‘We are right on schedule,’ Nakheel Chairman Sultan bin Sulayem told AME Info. ‘The villas will be ready by the end of 2005, the trunk apartments in the second quarter of 2006, and the Crescent projects by the end of 2007.
‘We are pushing the developers to get their projects ready so that this can all be done quickly. It is our credibility as a developer that is on the line and we will not risk damaging our reputation.’
Thus Mr. Bin Sulayem put to rest the recent rumours of technical problems, such as settlement, that some have said might delay the project for years.
This is simply not true, and as if to underline this fact, a $500 million extension to the massive Atlantis Resort project on the Crescent of The Palm was rolled out this week.
‘We think this is such a great project that we have decided to go ahead immediately with the second phase, and add an 800-room hotel tower bringing the total number of rooms to 2,000,’ says Butch Kerzner, Chief Executive Officer of Nakheel’s joint venture partner for this project, Kerzner of South Africa.
Kerzner is the owner of the huge Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, and is exporting this theme park and resort hotel concept to Dubai. The Dubai project includes a 40-acre water theme park including an aquarium where guests can swim with the dolphins.
‘This will be our largest-ever single project,’ says Mr. Kerzner. ‘The Palm is a bold project and the Crescent is the perfect place for Atlantis which will tap the Western and Asian tourist markets. No government in the world is more pro-tourism than Dubai.
‘Our experience in The Bahamas is that a hotel of this size and with these facilities is good for other hotels in the area. It attracts publicity and raises the business available for all the surrounding hotels.’
This $1.1 billion development will be financed by $400 million of equity from the Kerzner-Nakheel joint venture, and the balance will be debt raised in the local market.
Mr. Bin Sulayem also confirmed that it will be possible to access the Atlantis resort by road through a 500-metre long tunnel from the trunk, as well as on The Palm’s own monorail system and by boat.
Billed as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, The Palm, Jumeirah remains an iconic development and a special part of the Dubai property scene.