Work on Dubai Pearl to restart in December

Work on the Dubai Pearl will restart in December, with the $6bn megaproject set to be completed “by 2018”, the developer’s chief executive has said.

The project has been beset by a series of delays and management changes since it was originally announced in 2003. The company in charge of the Dubai Pearl is Pearl Dubai FZ LLC, a consortium of investors led by the UAE’s Al Fahim Group.

Overlooking the Palm Jumeirah, the Pearl Dubai masterplan involves four towers based around a large podium, complete with 1,490 apartments, seven five-star hotels, over 60 restaurants and a 1,600-seat theatre.

After stalling as a result of the property crash in Dubai, Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Endowment Industry Investment Development (CTFE) took a $1.9bn stake in the project earlier this year. Reports at the time claimed that construction work would restart on site in the second quarter, although this never materialised.

“Construction will begin in December 2014 and accelerate by March 2015,” Dubai Pearl FZ LLC chief executive Santhosh Joseph said, in an emailed response to questions from Arabian Business.

Joseph added that “delivery of the project [would take place] by 2018” and that there had been no design changes to the overall masterplan since the investment by CTFE.

“It is purely a pre-sale agreed [sic] of certain assets and has not resulted in any design changes,” he said.

Three hotel companies – Bellagio, MGM Grand (both part of MGM Resorts) and Baccarat – have already signed up to operate properties in the Dubai Pearl.

In April this year, MGM Resorts and Abu Dhabi’s Hakkasan Group formed a joint venture hotel management firm, MGM Hakkasan Hospitality.

“We plan to sign two more partners in 2015,” Joseph said.

Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG), the project’s main contractor, declined to comment when approached by Arabian Business.