Limitless seeks more global openings after subprime crisis

DUBAI - UNFAZED by subprime crisis in the United States and Europe, Limitless will continue to explore more o p p o r t u n i t i e s across the world, a top official of the company said.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

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Published: Mon 18 Aug 2008, 12:23 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:53 AM

“We continue to explore opportunities that fit our global strategy, and the current market conditions could lead to more opportunities,”

Saeed Ahmed Saeed, Chief Executive Officer of Limitless, said on Saturday. In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Saeed said Limitless currently has $100 billion projects in seven countries and will announce new projects in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and the Far East at an appropriate time.

“Limitless has nine global projects, worth around $100 billion of total development value, in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Russia and India.

These large-scale projects span over 20,000 hectares and will provide homes for nearly three million people,” Saeed, a civil engineer, said. “This year we have announced projects in Russia and Jordan, and launched new operations in Jordan and Turkey, bringing the number of overseas offices to 11. In July, we broke ground on Sanaya Amman, our first project in Jordan.”

Subprime crisis: Saeed, who spearheaded some of the most prestigious developments in Dubai, including Palm Jumeirah, Ibn Batutta Mall and The Gardens, is confident that subprime crisis will have no major impact on Middle East property market.

“Some analysts are predicting a price adjustment in Dubai. At Limitless, our valuation and research team undertakes continuous and extensive studies of the market, allowing for this kind of movement.” “In addition, as unique properties are more likely to hold their value, we are confident that we will be less affected by price movements.

Limitless developments are all about sustainability, and pricing is part of that,” Saeed maintained. He further said that subprime crisis, bullish oil market and rising costs of construction materials are unlikely to hit the company’s ongoing and future projects. “The company undertakes projects with pre-funding in place, so it is not adversely affected by these issues.”

Dubai projects: Saeed, a driving force behind several world famous projects such as Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Deira, The World Islands and Jumeirah Village, said Limitless currently has two projects in Dubai — Arabian Canal and Downtown Jebel Ali.

“Downtown Jebel Ali, our first project in Dubai, is well underway. Our first four commercial buildings are completed and being prepared for handover.” He said work on first four mixed-use towers in Zone-1 of the development is progressing rapidly.

“Downtown Jebel Ali has four zones, each with its own creative, sustainable plaza, providing a central transport and retail hub. Work on Plaza-1 will start later this year. Plots will be handed over to third party developers in the near future,” he explained.

“Downtown Jebel Ali will spread over 200 hectares and have around 320 buildings, 236 of which will be residential.

There will also be four metro stations, four new freeway interchanges and its own internal peoplemover system for safe, convenient and environmentallyfriendly travel within each zone,” Saeed added.

Arabian Canal project: About the progress on Arabian Canal project, the Limitless CEO said pilot excavation work is now complete, and the company will announce the contractor for the major earthworks at phase one of the development in the very near future.

“Arabian Canal has two elements — a 75-kilometre waterway, being designed and managed by Limitless, and a 14,000 hectare canalside city for 1.5 million people, being masterplanned by Limitless,” Saeed said. “The project will be a creative, balanced and sustainable landmark destination for Dubai’s residents and visitors,” he added. Regarding progress on Al Wasl (Riyadh), he said Saudi Arabia is a strategic market for Limitless.

“Al Wasl is our first project for the country, and we unveiled the master plan earlier this year at Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market — one of two major events in KSA that Limitless has sponsored this year. We anticipate that work on Al Wasl will start later this year.”

South Asia: In reply to a question, he said Limitless is exploring some opportunities in India and Pakistan to further expand its business in South Asia. “Limitless’ first project for India is Bidadi, a 4,000 hectare mixeduse development near Bangalore, which will accommodate around 750,000 people.”

“In Pakistan, we are exploring opportunities in Lahore and Karachi. We will make further announcements on these projects at an appropriate time in the future,” Saeed said. To a question regarding Karachi Waterfront project involving $68 billion investment, Saeed said: “Limitless remains interested in Pakistan as a future market and continues to monitor the situation there.”

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