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"We must adapt to the new economic environment" - Aldar chairman

Largest Abu Dhabi developer reviewing its business strategy and cutting costs.

Property developers will have to cut costs and change strategies to get through 2009, said Ahmed Ali al Sayegh, chairman of Aldar Properties. "We must adapt to the new economic environment," he said at the company's annual shareholder's meeting late this afternoon. "We expect to continue to be profitable even as the market is changing." Among the property companies of the UAE, Aldar has been less severely affected than others because of the strongly under supplied housing market and healthy cash position of Abu Dhabi developers, analysts say. But Mr Sayegh said the company is nonetheless reviewing its business strategy across the board and cutting costs by renegotiating contractor agreements and changing the mix of buildings to have more affordable housing.

"It is going to be a very tough year for everybody," he said. bhope@thenational.ae

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