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Date: 04/10/2010
Fairmont’s Palm Jumeirah Set To Complete In 2011

Fairmont’s Palm Jumeirah Hotel is scheduled for completion next year and handover of the project’s residences is already underway, the development partner behind the project said on Thursday, despite announcing a loss of KD19.5m ($68.48m) for the 2010 financial year.

The announcement comes despite claims in January by Thomas Storey, president of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, which its project partner, IFA Hotels and Resorts (IFA HR), was struggling to secure funding to complete the project.

“The problem is our partners in that venture are having financing challenges just like everyone else. So it’s hard to know [when it will be built]," Storey said.

However, despite announcing losses of KD19.5m ($68.48m) for the 2010 financial year, IFA HR said 2010 as its busiest year for completion of projects and it had moved ahead with work on its Dubai-based projects.

IFA HR completed work on the Golden Mile, Palm Jumeirah project and it said “good progress was also made on the Fairmont Palm Jumeirah hotel, which is scheduled for completion next year, and handover of the exclusive residences that flank the hotel is well underway.”

Elsewhere, it also opened its second Dubai-based food and beverage outlet – Mezze Mia – in The Palm Residence and in the Mövenpick Hotel and Residence Jumeirah Lakes Towers it launched loft and duplex apartments and a private residence club.

Despite its loss, IFA HR’s assets increased by ten percent to KD400.85m ($1.4bn) and it completed in excess of $1bn worth of projects, including two five-star hotels and five luxury residential developments comprising more than 1,200 units.”

“The losses we reported this year were largely due to a capital loss on the sale of land. The land was sold to generate further liquidity for the company to be able to repay financial commitments and finance ongoing projects.

"A revaluation loss has also been taken on our property portfolio in South Africa and provisions have been made in the fourth quarter in order to compensate for current market conditions,” said Ibrahim S Al Therban, chairman of IFA HR.

Around the region, IFA HR saw the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, which was in partnership with Kingdom Hotel Investments.

Also in the Lebanese capital, IFA HR announced a new design for the Kempinksi Residences Alabadiyah Hills and will soon begin handover of villas and townhouses at the Alabadiyah Hills residential development.

Internationally, the company had some high profile openings in South Africa, Bangkok and North America.