Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nakheel Is Holding back the tide

Chris O'Donnell left Sydney in the Spring of 2006 to become CEO of Nakheel, the government-owned developer of some of Dubai's most ostentatious projects. Two and a half years later, he faces his toughest challenge yet in protecting the company's $30bn development pipeline from cooling global real estate demand.

He is the man in charge of the world's biggest real estate developments. As CEO of Dubai government-controlled Nakheel, he oversees the construction of vast islands built from sand dredged from the seabed - projects of unprecedented scale that have kept most of the world's big dredging fleets busy for the last seven years.

The Palm, World and the planned Universe islands are transforming the relatively straight and featureless coast of the emirate into huge and intricately interconnecting fronds and breakwaters designed to add 500 km of coastline while holding back the tides of the Arabian Gulf.

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Nakheel timeline

October 2008

Nakheel announces plans to build the world's tallest tower, at over a dizzying one kilometre high

Jan 2008

Nakheel unveils concept plans for ‘The Universe', its latest planned offshore island project modelled on the solar system. It also reveals its intention to redevelop Dubai's Port Rashid docks district.

June 2007

Nakheel pays $100m to Cunard Line to buy the QE2. From 2009, the famous vessel will be berthed at the Palm Jumeirah. The 40 year-old QE2 was the longest-serving ship in Cunard's 168-year history.

Dec 2006

Nakheel lists the world's largest Islamic bond on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX). The $3.52bn sale comes with rights to invest in any future share sale by Nakheel.

June 2006

Chris O'Donnell joins as CEO from Australia's Investa Property Group where he has worked since December 2000 - helping the company become the largest listed owner of property.

Oct 2005

Donald Trump unveils plans to develop the $400m Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower. The tower is to be the first development in an exclusive joint venture between the developer and property tycoon and includes exclusive rights for 19 countries in the Middle East region.

Dec 2004

Nakheel develops Dragon Mart in Dubai, the largest trading hub of products from China outside the Chinese mainland. The 1.2km building quickly becomes a cathedral of bargain-hunters.

June 2002

When the England football squad arrived in Dubai in the run up to the 2002 World Cup, some of the players, including David Beckham and Michael Owen left with their very own villas on Nakheel's debut Palm-Jumeirah. How much did they pay? The price was never disclosed, but whatever it was (or wasn't) it achieved its purpose in generating the hype needed to ensure the project was completely sold off-plan.

April 2001

Nakheel awards contracts to build the first Palm island in Dubai using reclaimed sand dredged from the seabed off the coast of the emirate. The project makes headlines around the world.

1 comment:

Brad Zurich said...

Nakheel has cut jobs in the tune of 500.