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Emaar may cancel projects

The developer says it may respond positively to a petition from investors halt projects.

DUBAI // Emaar Properties will consider cancelling or postponing three of its projects after receiving a petition from investors as the financial crisis hits hard Dubai's once-booming property sector, it said on Thursday. An Emaar spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters it had received a petition in connection to the Emaar Investor Group requesting the cancellation or postponement of the firm's Warsan, Asmaran and Maysan projects.

"Emaar Properties has received a petition from investors regarding some of its projects and will consider their proposals seriously," she said in a statement. Dubai's property sector is suffering a sharp slowdown after a six-year building boom spurred by its move to allow foreign investors to buy properties and because of buoyant growth in Gulf economies during an oil price rally. Dubai residential property prices have fallen by an average of 25 per cent since a peak of September, Morgan Stanley said last month, adding some US$263 billion (Dh965bn) of projects had been cancelled or put on hold in the UAE.

The largest listed Arab property developer made a loss of Dh1.77bn in the fourth quarter due to write downs in the US. "Emaar is committed to upholding the interests of all our customers and stakeholders and appreciate their concerns, especially given the current economic conditions," the spokeswoman said. Asmaran, Maysan and Warsan Estate projects were launched in May and June last year. Arabtec, the region's largest contractor by market value, was awarded a Dh599 million d contract by Emaar to build villas at the Warsan development in July, 2008.

*Reuters

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