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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #581
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Discovery residents face lock-out

Why dont they take them to court instead of being a bully

With the deadline set by Nakheel for apartment owners in Discovery Gardens to pay their outstanding service charges ending today (January 25), residents are uncertain whether the master developer will actually restrict access to buildings.

“I haven’t done any crime. If my landlord isn’t paying then Nakheel can take action against him. How can they stop me from going to my apartment?” P Madhu, who has been renting an apartment in Discovery Gardens for the past three years, told Emirates 24|7.

She admitted that she came to know of her landlord being a defaulter only after Nakheel put up the notice in the lobby of my building.

“I tried calling my landlord on several occasions, but he never answered my calls. Hence, I am not sure whether he cleared his bills. I do pay him on time so why should I bear the brunt of the master developer’s action.”

Joanna, a Bulgarian, who just gave her first name, has the same story to share.

“I am not sure whether my landlord has paid the maintenance charges. I never checked when I rented the apartment on whether he had paid or not. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow onwards.”

“The agent, who leased me the apartment, said he had nothing to do with it. He just told me to follow up with the landlord,” she added.

At the time of publishing this article, Nakheel had not yet replied to questions sent by this website.

Company Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah had told this website earlier that it was necessary for all owners to pay their service charges on time for the upkeep and security of all the developments.

According to Ludmila Yamalova, Managing Partner of HPL Yamalova & Plewka JLT, the UAE Civil Code clearly defines that a freehold property should be free of any kind of encumbrance and hence Nakheel cannot restrict one from accessing their property.

This reporter found the entrance doors of most of the buildings to be wide open and no security locks had been installed.

This website reported on December 25 that Nakheel had decided to name-and-shame service charge defaulters in the community in an apparent bid to make owners cough up the outstanding fees.

The developer had posted a list with names of apartment owners and their outstanding amount as of December 20, 2011, in the lobby of Discovery Gardens buildings, along with a notice which says there could be a possibility of apartment owners’ access to their buildings being restricted.

According to the notice, the developer said that apartment owners have until January 25, 2012, to clear their dues.

The notice, dated December 22, reads: “Please note that Discovery Gardens LLC requested all the unit owners to make the payment towards service charges related 2010/2011, for your information the service charge is duly approved by Rera and due for payment as on 17th November 2011."

It was noticed that several apartment owners have not yet cleared their dues. The list of apartments which has not cleared the dues is attached herewith.”

It adds: “Kindly note that service charges should be cleared/paid on or before 25th January 2012, failing which will take legal action against the defaulters which may even result in restricting the access to the building.”

A Nakheel spokesperson had told this website in June that the company will not be able to pay utility and service providers if there are no funds in building accounts of Discovery Gardens, which may result in service disruption.

“As the letter is self-explanatory that to continue the services and pay the utility provider, we need sufficient fund to keep the building up and running. If there is no fund in the building account we will not be able to pay the utility charges and service provider which may result in disruption. Service disruption will depend on the service providers,” the spokesperson had said.

Discovery Gardens consists of six themed communities inspired by garden living, and includes Zen, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Mogul, Mesoamerican and Cactus courtyard gardens.

The development spans over 26 million square foot plot and has 291 buildings.
http://www.emirates247.com/property/...01-25-1.439335
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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #582
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EXCLUSIVE - Nakheel slams O'Donnell legal bills

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Nakheel lawyers ferociously defending the UAE developer giant against a multi-million dollar breach of contract claim by former CEO Chris O’Donnell have accused the Australian’s legal team of having “not done a proper job” and charging “exorbitant time keeping bills.”

The war of words and bitter battle between Nakheel and O’Donnell continued in court yesterday when a tribunal costs hearing was heard before presiding expert Sir Anthony Evans, the First Chief of Justice at Dubai International Financial Centre court.

The First Chief of Justice announced during the hearing that both a judgement on costs and a much-anticipated final verdict on O’Donnell’s $3m breach of contract lawsuit will be delivered the week beginning Monday, 6 February.
O’Donnell seeks the sum in relation to two long-term incentive payments - alongside sums related to damages, currency fluctuations and interest – he says were due as part of the completion of a five-year deal at the helm of Nakheel which ended last summer.

But O’Donnell’s lawyers have been blasted by Nakheel’s counsel. Lawyers for the cash-strapped ‘World’ creators claim O’Donnell’s team have failed to keep proper time sheets in relation to hours billed and questioned the rate of fees claimed.

Since work began on the lawsuit, Nakheel representatives SJ Berwin says it billed a fee of AED351,000 ($96,000) but did “the majority of the work” of the two sides.

O’Donnell’s defence team of Dubai-based Davidson and Co., however, put forward legal costs of nearly AED555,000 ($151,100).

Dr Mark Hoyle, partner at international legal firm SJ Berwin, said it should have been “no more than AED140,000 ($38,100) or AED150,000 ($40,100)”.

It was also revealed during the costs hearing that O’Donnell’s main legal counsel, Jonathon Davidson, partner at Davidson and Co., which he founded in Dubai in 2008, was charging a fee of AED3100 ($844) per hour for his services.

SJ Berwin claim legal documents relating to fees have not been submitted by O’Donnell’s representatives when asked for.

“We simply don’t know what they have done,” DIFC courts heard Dr Hoyle say.

“There doesn’t appear to have been any time sheets kept but a lot of hours have been billed.

“The information given is fuzzy, unclear and overegged.

“It’s a very high bill for very little constructive work.”

At the costs hearing, Dr Hoyle further labelled the amount actually submitted by O’Donnell’s legal representatives as “exorbitant” and added: “They have not provided all the documents we asked them to. They have not done a proper job.”

Those claims however were vehemently countered by O’Donnell’s legal team.

“The costs on the face of it can seem to be high but a large amount of work had to be put together by Davidson and Co.” argued barrister William Frain-Bell.

Having heard all the available evidence and crunched the numbers brought forward by both side’s lawyers, the Dubai World Tribunal panel will now reach a decision as to whether the former Nakheel CEO is legally entitled to the bonus payments he seeks.

On June 8 last year, Nakheel reached a decision not to extend O’Donnell’s five year spell at the firm, which expired eight days later on June 16.

An email was circulated by the company on June 8 noting O’Donnell’s deal would not be renewed and the CEO placed on ‘gardening leave’ for the remaining time of his contract.

But O’Donnell strongly denies actually resigning from Nakheel.

He told the tribunal in December that he had resigned from Nakheel’s subsidiary units – something he said was standard practice for executives of his ilk - but not from his position as CEO, and had thus completed his five-year term, entitling him to full benefits.
http://www.constructionweekonline.co...l-legal-bills/

Last edited by I Know; February 3rd, 2012 at 07:45 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #583
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Nakheel executive who 'asked for an Audi' jailed
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n...an-audi-jailed
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Old January 27th, 2012, 04:53 PM   #584
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Face81 View Post
Incorrect. 136,000 square metres is about 1.3 million square feet, which is equivalent to the size of Deira City Centre. Mall of the Emirates is 5 or million square feet in size, while the Dubai Mall is 12 million square feet in size.
its the value I'm questioning not the size .No way MOE is 500 000m2 mall, maybe 170 to 190 000 /m2 (exclude hospitality and snow) Dubai mall is about 650 000m2
try not to believe everything the "free" press in dubai says
secondly most global malls are measure by by GFA and exclude non retail components
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Old January 28th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #585
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Originally Posted by I Know View Post
Nakheel executive who 'asked for an Audi' jailed
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n...an-audi-jailed
Looks like another scapegoat trial. He was given the car AFTER they were awarded the contract. In that case it is a thank you or sweetner to ensure he does not give the contractor a hard time on site. The contractor should have been terminated for offering inducements.

At least he didn't throw himself off a hotel balcony.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #586
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Nakheel lawyers trim claims bill of former Counsel

Nakheel lawyers have reduced a legal fees bill claim by the developer’s former General Counsel from AED473,119 ($128,803) to AED132,000 at a Dubai World Tribunal costs hearing.

In August last year, former employee David John Nicholson won a AED752,000 ($205,000) judgment against the developer after his employment was terminated with a month’s notice, not the three months agreed to in his contract, court documents showed.

But at a recent hearing the former General Counsel’s claim for legal bills of some $128,803 were dismissed by Sir Anthony Evans, the First Chief of Justice at Dubai International Financial Centre court.

“It’s a good result,” said SJ Berwin associate Matthew Showler, representing Nakheel.




SJ Berwin had claimed in court that the true costs of Nicholson’s legal fees were somewhere nearer AED102,832 ($27,996).



Australian Nicholson was being represented by Dubai-based legal firm Davidson and Co - the same firm employed by former Nakheel CEO Chris O’Donnell, in his legal battle against Nakheel.

It was announced last week that O'Donnell will see a verdict on his multimillion-dollar claim for breach of contract against the UAE developer decided the week beginning Feb 6.

O’Donnell sued Nakheel in the Dubai World Tribunal last June, seeking $3m in long-term incentives as well as $290,850 related to currency fluctuations and $180,000 in interest.

Nakheel countered the claims in part by arguing that O’Donnell resigned before the end of his fixed-term tenure and was thus not entitled to his five-year incentive payment.

In a trial hearing last month, lawyers for the developer claimed the former CEO had failed to perform his duties and had “hung around” in order to complete his term and collect his payment.

Tim Taylor, for Nakheel, remarked that O’Donnell had received “a large amount of remuneration and had left a company that the government has had to bail out.”

Nakheel said in September it wrote down AED78.6bn ($21.4bn) from the value of its real estate during the Dubai debt crisis, which saw house prices in the city fall more than 60 percent from their peak.

The company made hundreds of staff redundant as it struggled to stem losses.
http://www.arabianbusiness.com/nakhe...el-442858.html
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Old January 30th, 2012, 11:50 AM   #587
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Palm Jumeirah beach access saga grinds on

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n...saga-grinds-on
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Old January 30th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #588
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“[Nakheel is] going to chase [its] money right and left. Nakheel cannot afford (not) to,” its chairman Ali Lootah tells Kipp’s Eva Fernandes exclusively.
The long drawn out and much publicised Shoreline apartment service fee debacle could very well become a reality for tenants in other Nakheel developments including Discovery Gardens and International City, Ali Lootah, Chairman of Nakheel told Kippreport earlier today.

“[Nakheel is] going to chase [its] money right and left. Nakheel cannot afford (not) to… What should I do? Just keep quiet on my money and not collect my money because of the negative (attention)? It is a serious issue, how can we continue servicing them if they don’t pay?” said Lootah in an exclusive to Kipp. “We are following all of our communities—Discovery Gardens, International City –but we focused on our Shoreline Apartments because it was big amount and some of it was outstanding from 2008.”

Since last month, Nakheel has blocked beach and pool access to those tenants residing in those Shoreline Apartments on the Palm Jumeirah that have not paid their service fees. The move came as part of a bid to collect Dh72 million in unpaid fees.

Since the ban, Nakheel has collected 40 percent of what is owed to them, the chairman said. Effective as the measures might be, it also attracted a lot of negative press for Nakheel, including reports of tenants calling the police to unlock doors.

“We are just using the soft approach actually, we can go much tougher (…) all we’ve done is cut off the access to the beach. The residents still have access to their apartments, they can still live in their apartments. We haven’t done anything as drastic as other communities—some who have switched the AC off—no, we have been more patient” said Lootah.

While the real effectiveness of Nakheel’s tough love strategy perhaps remains to be determined, an unfortunate victim caught in the middle of this rather ugly dispute between the developer and the owner is the tenant. Tenants, for example, who have paid their entire rent for a year in one go, have found themselves denied access to the beach and pool because their landlord has not paid the service fee.

Lootah, though sympathetic towards these tenants, is unrelenting:

“I was personally astonished that so many tenants did not check the service fees [before signing the lease]…Why do people go out and get a clearance of DEWA bills and not get a clearance on Nakheel service charge? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

“Tenants should be careful. What can you do? They didn’t do their due diligence, or they were shy to ask these questions… If I was in their place I would ask my landlord, please confirm that the service charge has been paid.”

Perhaps, tenants were not aware of the service fees? “I don’t think the tenant is so naive. Why didn’t they ask? Why didn’t they check?” says Lootah, pointing out that Nakheel is not the only developer in Dubai charging a service fee—a standard for special developed areas in Dubai. As precautionary measure for future tenants, Nakheel has now set up a new facility which allows a potential Shoreline renter to phone Nakheel to verify whether the service fees for the particular apartment of their interest has been paid or not. Essentially the onus is on the tenant to check before signing the lease.

The real culprit in this story, Lootah says, is the landlord: “It is the landlords who are not living here (who) are to blame…Let’s not forget, it is a business. Landlords are collecting rent. They are collecting money. It is just greed. They just don’t want to pay part of that as service charge. It is not that apartment is empty-no, they are collecting rent. Where is the money going?”


http://www.kippreport.com/2012/01/ex...vice-fee-saga/
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Old January 31st, 2012, 05:07 PM   #589
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Residents cool on fees and lakes

Poorly kept lakes and rising district-cooling charges continue to be a problem for residents of upmarket gated communities.

In the Jumeirah Islands development, about 400 residents have signed a petition against a 150 per cent rise in district-cooling charges.

Contracts outlining the increase were sent to residents this month, but they say they will refuse to sign.

"We wanted to voice our disgust and concern," a British owner said. "The petition has been handed in to both Rera and Nakheel. At the next step, we will discuss legal action."

Al Shirawi US Chillers, the company taking over district-cooling services from Palm Utilities, will charge Dh1.40 a tonne of refrigeration an hour, instead of Dh0.563.

Under the old arrangement, villa owners would commonly be charged about Dh1,300 a month for consumption charges alone. Extra capacity fees and a fuel surcharge would push the bill up to about Dh2,850.

Under the new tariff, consumption charges would be about Dh3,200 a month.

This is not the first time residents have hit out at cooling charges. In August 2010, Nakheel tried to bill residents Dh1,280 a month as an "additional capacity charge".

Many refused to pay and, in November, residents received letters from Nakheel saying the capacity charge had been waived.

Residents claim the consumption charges have been raised to accommodate the lost capacity charges.

But a spokesman for the developer said cooling charges had been revised to match market rates.
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n...fees-and-lakes

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Old February 1st, 2012, 01:10 PM   #590
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The plot thickens: drama in Dubai’s property sector

Kipp’s exclusive with Nakheel’s Ali Lootah has inspired a rich debate around the role of developer, tenants, home owner, regulatory authority. Which side do you stand?

http://www.kippreport.com/2012/01/th...operty-sector/
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:23 AM   #591
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Discovery Gardens turns into battlefield over services

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n...-over-services
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 11:39 AM   #592
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Originally Posted by I Know View Post
Discovery Gardens turns into battlefield over services

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n...-over-services
taken from the article:

Mr Aldendorff said owners in Discovery Gardens were paying one of the highest rates in the emirate at about Dh19 a square foot.

This is slightly misleading as 19aed/ft2 includes unlimited cooling.

Still high ish, but you could probably reduce the 19 aed to around 11 or 12 aed (by removing cooling) in order to compare to other projects.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #593
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Its was not known as the empty quater for no reason

Would you buy in DG again or would you be happy to see the back of your investment in DG Terry ?

Quote:
On Property: Ali Lootah, Chairman, Nakheel
WE CALL THEM LONG-TERM PROJECTS
http://www.kippreport.com/2012/02/on...irman-nakheel/
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:28 PM   #594
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Nakheel ordered to pay $20m to contractor

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/nakhe...or-444413.html
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Old February 10th, 2012, 12:37 AM   #595
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Ex-CEO wins lawsuit against Nakheel

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By Reuters | Published Thursday, February 09, 2012

Nakheel's former chief executive won a lawsuit for breach of contract against the developer on Thursday and was awarded $3 million in damages by a Dubai court.
http://www.emirates247.com/business/...02-09-1.442257
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Old February 10th, 2012, 01:05 AM   #596
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Nakheel claims O’Donnell defence was “strong”

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By Shane McGinley | Thursday, 9 February 2012 5:31 PM



Dubai developer Nakheel claimed it believed its unsuccessful defence against former CEO Chris O’Donnell’s $3.7m law suit was “strong” and it would appeal the decision against it if it were possible.
http://www.arabianbusiness.com/nakhe...g--444611.html
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Old February 12th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #597
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just the start, so many cases in the system against developers including Nakheel for breach of contract (failing to deliver developments by a certain date and using force majour as an argument).
Nakheel must seriously consider the legal advise they are receiving if they don't know and understand the law. seems they have lost more than they have won in recent times
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Old February 14th, 2012, 03:48 AM   #598
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Nakheel to stop chiller fee subsidy

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By Parag Deulgaonkar | Published Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nakheel cannot continue to subsidise chiller charges for property owners due to rising power costs, the company’s Chairman has said in exclusive comments to Emirates 24|7.
http://www.emirates247.com/property/...02-14-1.442909
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Old February 18th, 2012, 01:09 AM   #599
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Nakheel chief slams service fee dodgers

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By Gerhard Hope | Friday, 17 February 2012 1:26 PM


Shoreline apartments, Palm Jumeirah

Master developer Nakheel has said that owners who are withholding service charges at its Shoreline Residences on Palm Jumeirah are not only flouting the law, but also damaging Dubai’s reputation.
http://www.arabianbusiness.com/nakhe...rs-445800.html
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:55 PM   #600
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Nakheel to Start Selling Dubai Palm Homes

By Zainab Fattah - Feb 23, 2012 12:44 PM GMT .


By Zainab Fattah - Feb 23, 2012 12:44 PM GMT .

Nakheel PJSC, the Dubai developer bailed out by the government in 2009, will start selling townhouses on Palm Jumeirah next month in its first new residential project since the property market crashed in 2008, Chairman Ali Rashed Lootah said.

The state-controlled company will develop mid-range homes on its Palm Jumeirah artificial island, alongside the apartments and villas already built there. Nakheel, Dubai’s biggest developer by assets, announced a plan to construct 102 townhouses on the island in September.

“Not everyone wants a villa or an apartment,” Lootah said in an interview at his office in Dubai. “There’s demand for townhouses on the beach, but we’re being careful not to increase the density on the palm.”

The Palm Residence project will test demand for property in a market where prices have plunged by more than 65 percent since their mid-2008 peak. The slump forced Nakheel to write down the value of its real estate by 78.6 billion dirhams ($21 billion) and prompted the bailout.

Most of the Palm project will be financed by sales agreed before construction begins, a method that was common before the property slump. Lootah, who declined to comment on the expected cost of the development, said it won’t be financed through bonds or loans from international banks.


Stalled Projects
Nakheel plans to spend 1.4 billion dirhams this year to complete nine projects across Dubai that had been suspended after the property crash, according to an Islamic bond prospectus obtained by Bloomberg News in September. Nakheel plans to complete 7,982 homes in 2012, the document showed.

“My main challenge is to deliver to buyers the homes they bought,” Lootah said. “The banks and the contractors made a lot of money off us during the boom days, but the buyers have been patient and we want to deliver the homes they paid for and dreamed of. That’s my main goal.”

Nakheel settled 6.6 billion dirhams of claims related to property sold in projects that were halted indefinitely, Lootah said. The buyers have been offered alternative homes in projects nearing completion or credit notes that can be redeemed in five years. Nakheel has about 3.4 billion dirhams of claims left to settle, he said.

Revenue from retail will probably double by 2014, lifted by an additional 3 million square feet (278,709 square meters) of space, Lootah said. The company reported revenue of 1.5 billion dirhams for the first half and is due to release 2011 results in March.


International Unit Revival
Limitless LLC, the international property developer put under Nakheel’s management in July 2010, has almost restructured a $1.2 billion loan, Lootah said. The company, which halted projects across the world following the crisis, plans to resume work on developments in Moscow and Saudi Arabia, where housing demand is highest, Lootah said.

Before the crisis hit, Limitless was developing Khimki, a villa and low-rise apartment project on 114 hectares (1.14 million square meters) to house 14,000 people alongside the Moscow River Canal. The company’s Al Wasl project in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, was designed to include more than 50,000 homes as well as offices and retail space on 1,400 hectares, according to the company’s website.

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

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


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...ed-island.html
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