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Al Fajer Properties Completes Five Towers and 200 Floors in One Year Despite Worldwide Cement Shortage
By Alex Finkelstein | May 18, 2009 12:18 PM ET
(DUBAI, U.A.E.) -- Despite a worldwide cement shortage, a shrinking financing pool and a growing occupancy level, four-year-old Al Fajer Properties is on its way to becoming one of the Middle East's dominant real estate developers.
The Dubai-based company announced today it has completed the superstructures for phase 1 at five of its nine planned towers in record time.
The 5 Jumeirah Business Center (JBC) towers, once handed over, will add two million sq ft of office space and an additional 83,000 sq ft of retail space within the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Community.
"This tremendous achievement comes within the last 12 months since disbanding the old management team coupled with an extensive restructuring of the company," says owner Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum.
"The strengthening of the company's balance sheet by AED 3.2 billion ($872 million US) well before the global financial crisis makes AFP today one of the strongest developers in the local market owing purely by its decisive course of action, implemented within the first 90 days of the new management team coming on board," the Sheikh says.
He notes, "Even though AFP felt the impact of the well known national cement shortage, the extraordinary efforts by Al Ahmadiah Contracting (AFP's main contractor), enabled the project to achieve a rate of a 4-day cycle per floor for phase 1, which today has resulted in five towers being built in a span of twelve months."
Two of the superstructures in phase 1 are being dismantled. All construction cranes will be removed across the five towers by the end of the month. Phase 1 is due for hand over in the last quarter of 2009 with deployment of phase 2 - JBC 6 and Ebony/Ivory towers, well under way, Al Maktoum says.
"We have achieved our most significant milestone to date and I am extremely pleased with the results," he adds.
"I would also like to thank all the various project teams involved in helping us to reach this goal since the change in management. Our results are testimony to what proper management and a Tier 1 rated construction company can achieve in record time."
Andre Van Schalkwyk, Project Director of Al Fajer, says the fast-track construction project "could only have been achieved through the streamlined processes and standards created by the new management team, along with effective decision making and timely execution. We are proud to be part of such a great achievement."
AFP is the premier developer in the Dubai World DMCC Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) community and is the only developer to include a five-floor atrium within the lobbies of its towers.
Despite a global rising occupancy level in both the office and retail sectors, Van Schalkwyk says he is confident the project's nine towers, situated within a free-zone and once completed, will offer "high-end commercial properties, attracting both large local companies and multi-national organizations from around the world."
He says the unique state-of-the-art facilities of the JBC Towers cumulatively offer exclusive freehold offices totaling a leaseable area of 3.6 million square feet and an additional 150,000 square feet dedicated to retail across all nine towers.