DUBAI // Emaar Properties said today it had started extending the time period it gives to its customers to repay their mortgages as liquidity constraints in the local banking sector has exacerbated the problems of securing home finance. Issam Galadari, Emaar's chief executive and managing director of the group's international operations, said the Arab world's largest developer by market value was also planning to launch two projects in Dubai next year worth at least US$5 billion (Dh18bn) each, although it would monitor market conditions.
"The credit crisis has affected everybody ...We have extended the time for them (clients) to pay their money," Mr Galadari said in an interview on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting. "We introduced this about a week, 10 days ago." Mr Galadari said Emaar would keep this policy for a "while" until people found it easier to secure funding. "We have to rely on these [financial] institutions ... they are financing our customers and we have pre-sales," he said.
Typically customers in the Gulf region purchase from developers such as Emaar before the properties are actually built and then take out bank loans to repay the developer. Mr Galadari said the group was "watching the market", but had yet to cancel or put back any projects. "There are a lot of projects on the drawing board ... there are two in different areas in Dubai for next year," he said. "We are working on these, but it will depend on the market."