x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Troubled German developer puts Dubai Waterfront towers on hold

ACI,The developer behind the Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda towers will delay some of its other projects.

Alternative Capital Invest (ACI) Real Estate, the troubled German-owned developer behind projects such as the Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher and Niki Lauda towers, says it will put on hold its developments on the Dubai Waterfront and shift investor holdings to other assets. Affected projects include the Ferretti and Pershing towers, which have yet to begin construction. The company said it would shift client's investments in these developments to its towers in Business Bay, which consist mainly of the towers linked to prominent German sport figures. The Becker, Schumacher and Lauda towers are currently under construction but running significantly behind schedule.

In recent weeks a group of German investors in ACI-linked funds, which have financed the developments, complained that the developers have missed payout deadlines. The postponement of the Dubai Waterfront towers comes as ACI is struggling to maintain investor funding that it needs to complete existing projects. Robin Lohmann, the managing director of ACI Dubai, said in a recent interview slowing payment was having an impact on construction schedules.

"All our sites [in Business Bay] are under construction," he said. "But since there are delays in people's payments, we have had to slow down in order to deal with it. If nobody pays, the risk is that construction stops. This is the last thing that we want." He added that of the 11 projects the company had underway, at least seven were under construction. ngillet@thenational.ae