Dubai developer Damac awards Dh2.8bn in contracts

Dubai-based Damac Properties has awarded more than Dh2.8 billion worth of contracts during the first half of this year.

The developer said that the awards include main works packages on more than 1,500 villas at its Akoya Oxygen community in Dubailand, three new apartment blocks at the nearby Akoya by Damac development and the main contracts for three of its four hotel apartment schemes – Damac Maison Privé, NAIA Vantage and Naia Celestia.

Ghantoot Gulf Contracting was awarded the biggest villas package at Akoya Oxygen, where it is delivering 981 homes and Lootah Building will deliver a further 547 villas. Seidco General Contracting (Seidco) will deliver three seven-storey towers at Akoya Damac and Pivot Engineering will build 239 villas at Akoya Park.

Civilco Civil Engineering & Contracting will build NAIA Celestia in the Dubai World Central district, Damac Maison Privé will be built by Seidco and NAIA Vantage by Reem Capital Contracting.

Damac has also awarded smaller packages including the clubhouse at the Trump International Golf Club at Akoya by Damac, which is also being built by Seidco, and one for a new substation in the same development to Jazeera Emirates Power.

“These awards are the start of a major building programme we have coming up across the course of the year and there will be many opportunities for quality contractors in the coming months as we release more tenders on our portfolio,” said Mohammed Tahaineh, the senior vice president t Damac Properties.

By the end of March, Damac had delivered almost 14,000 homes and had a portfolio of 37,000 more units in the pipeline. These include 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments.

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Cooling solutions company Tabreed has gained shareholders’ approval to spend Dh1 billion to buy back convertible bonds held by state-owned investment company Mubadala.

The district cooling utility firm will buy about 854 million bonds, equivalent to 28 per cent of Tabreed bonds that Mubadala holds.

Tabreed plans to cancel the bonds when the deal is completed next month.

The bonds were initially issued as part of a restructuring in 2011, when Mubadala provided Dh3.1bn to help Tabreed pay down its debts that had been built up because of its rapid expansion of cooling plants just before the global financial crisis in 2008.

Mubadala also converted Dh134m of bonds into shares in June last year, in lieu of a cash dividend that was due following Tabreed’s announcement of its financial results for 2012.

Mubadala has a stake in abreed that exceeds 13 per cent, according to Bloomberg data.

Since issuing its bonds, Tabreed has improved its balance sheet and managed to complete a Dh2.6bn debt refinancing announced in January.

Jasim Thabet, Tabreed’s chief executive, said its buy-back of bonds would save the company about Dh30m a year in financing costs.

The buy-back plan was approved unanimously at its general assembly meeting on Sunday.

“This buy-back is part of our wider strategy to continuously improve our capital structure,” said Mr Thabet, adding that the buy-back and the recent refinancing would yield savings of about Dh40m a year in finance costs.

Tabreed shares closed nearly 2 per cent higher in Dubai on Monday.

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Meraas appoints WSP to oversee building of Dubai’s Bvlgari Resort and Residences

Engineering consultancy WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff has been appointed by Meraas Holding as the lead consultant for the Bvlgari Resort and Residences complex in Dubai.

The resort will contain a 101-room hotel, eight penthouses, 15 mansions and 165 apartments, as well as a 50-berth marina and yacht club. It is being built on Jumeirah Bay Island off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Road and is due for completion in 2017.

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WSP’s role involves the design of all structures, roads, highways, utilities and safety systems. Project director Mark Farley said the firm had already achieved “a few important milestones already and are well on track for delivery in 2017.”

Dubai-based contractor Alec was appointed to build the resort in October last year.

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