A Hong Kong-based group has taken a big leap into the booming Dubai property market, acquiring property assets valued at $1.9 billion of the troubled Dubai Pearl project.
Chow Tai Fook Endowment Industry Investment Development (CTFE) said it would use part of the purchase in the 20 million square feet mixed-use development for the company, while the other part would be resold to CTFE clients "seeking good rental returns as well as property value appreciation".
Located near the entrance of the Palm Jumeirah, the project is also a stark reminder of stalled futuristic developments announced before the collapse of the property market in 2009 that have yet to be finished.
Pearl Dubai FZ LLC, a consortium of investors led by Abu Dhabi's Al Fahim Group, "bought and repositioned" the $4 billion Dubai Pearl development in 2007. At the time, the expected date of completion was slated for 2011, then delayed to 2013.
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Omnix Group launched the project as far back as 2002, and at one stage involved investors such as Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Company.
When Pearl Dubai FZ LLC took over, changes to the master plan meant most of the existing structures had to be demolished.
Over a decade on, investors are still waiting. But the $.1.9 billion infusion of capital from China could mark a turning point.