Nakheel has said it will start construction work before the end of the year on its long-awaited Dh800 million The Pointe shopping and leisure development on the Palm Jumeirah after awarding a contract for ground improvement work.
Nakheel said it had awarded the contract for ground preparation for the delayed 136,000 square metre retail and entertainment complex on the topmost branch of the Palm opposite the Atlantis Hotel to Freyssinet Gulf.
The company will be responsible for undertaking vibro-compaction (compacting loose sand to create stable foundation soils) topographic survey and factual site investigation work, which is expected to take four months.
The entire scheme is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and will provide shops, cafes and restaurants to the under-supplied Palm.
Nakheel said The Pointe would include shops, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities including dancing fountains like those found in the Dubai Mall. It will be linked to the Palm monorail.
Nakheel has been planning to start work on The Pointe for some time. In January 2012 the developer announced it was in talks with banks to raise at least Dh300m to build an initial phase.
However, construction work on the project failed to begin as Nakheel concentrated on repaying its debts arising from the 2009 Dubai World crisis.
In February, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, gave the green light to Nakheel to proceed with both The Pointe and its long-delayed Dh2.5 billion Nakheel Mall shopping centre.
Nakheel, which was one of the main companies involved in the Dubai World debt crisis in 2009, last week announced that first-half profits for 2013 increased 57 per cent as the developer handed over 1,400 homes to their owners ahead of US$2.2bn of loans falling due in 2015.
This month it sold two Palm Jumeirah plots to hotel developers for about Dh700m. One plot on the west of the palm-shaped artificial island sold for Dh556m, and another on the Palm’s east sold for Dh139m.
The company is in talks with lenders to refinance Dh8bn of its debt, the company chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, said in June.