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Omniyat proceeds with projects despite downturn

Despite a downturn in sales Omniyat properties insists that its ongoing projects will not be affected by the credit crisis. 'Our first seven projects are in full swing and I don't see any impact, or them being suspended,' says Omniyat Properties executive chairman Mehdi Amjad.

Omniyat's first seven projects are the Square, One Business Bay, Baywater, The Binary, The Pad, The Opus, and Gemini.

As property prices start to fall the problem for developers such as Omniyat is that they can no longer rely on sales launches for revenues that fund development. "We are very fortunate in these times because we have sold most of our inventory for the first seven projects, and for the Octavian we have sold 85 per cent and the office tower at the Waterfront we have sold 80 per cent," says Amjad. "So even if there are no sales going forward our inflows match our outflows."

There had been speculation that Omniyat would be forced to delay or suspend projects after it laid off staff, but according to the developer these redundancies just affected its sales and marketing functions. "We had lots of new projects planned between October this year and June, but the market conditions means there will be no launches," says Amjad. "Hence we needed to make some jobs redundant. 65 per cent of these were in sales and marketing, the rest were support staff. Our core business of development and asset management remains intact."

Source: MEED