DUBAI // Dubai-based developer Damac Properties on Thursday confirmed it would not complete a Malaysia land deal with UEM Land Bhd due to the financial crisis, and would focus on projects already under construction. The news follows a statement from UEM on Wednesday saying the proposed deal had been allowed to lapse. In June 2008, the real estate firm signed a US$122 million (Dh477m) sales and purchase agreement with UEM for land to build a waterfront and marina project in Iskandar, Malaysia.
"This decision has been made in light of changes in the global financial market and an overall slowdown in the property market worldwide," the company said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters. The property sector in Dubai has been suffering as the financial crisis hit the once-booming city, leading to sharp falls in property prices, cancellations or delays of construction projects and jobs cuts. "Damac Properties has already announced its intention to focus on projects that are already under construction and this decision forms part of that strategy."
The company added it may consider developing projects in Malaysia when market conditions improve. Damac, which has cut at least 250 jobs since the start of the economic downturn, said in November it would not be expanding into new markets and was considering rescheduling the construction of some of its projects due to market conditions. Its portfolio includes properties worth more than $45 billion, according to the company's website. It has projects in the UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.