'Real estate sector to gain momentum'

<p>Rashid Lootah said more "serious investors" have returned to buy property in the emirate in April. </p>

The real estate sector in Dubai will gain momentum in the first half 2015, according to the chairman of Nakheel.

Rashid Lootah said more "serious investors" have returned to buy property in the emirate in April and as a result, the sector is bound to see increased activity.

He also said that the company expects to largely boost its income to nearly Dh7.5 billion during 2018-2019 after it completes payment of debt to commercial creditors in 2016, its chairman was quoted on Monday as saying. Speaking to the Arabic language daily 'Al Khaleej,' he said that six new projects would be completed in 2015, including the massive Dragon Mart 2 that complements the existing Dragon market launched several years ago.

Asked whether Nakheel, one of the region’s largest real estate firms, would decide to list its shares on the local stock market, Lootah said “all options in this respect are possible” but any decision would be taken only after the company’s Dh4.4 billion debt is settled at the end of August 2016.

He put Nakheel’s income from its property rental at around AED1.3 billion, adding that it would climb to AED1.7 billion in 2015 before peaking at Dh7.5 billion in 2018-2019.

“During that period, we will complete new projects worth around Dh19 billion, including AED14 billion in the retail sector, AED2 billion in hospitality and amusement and AED3 billion in the housing sector,” he said.

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