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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dubai World to delay new developments

DUBAI: Dubai World said on Sunday it would complete all projects currently under construction but would delay any new developments, including a plan to build the world’s tallest tower, until market conditions improve.

Dubai World unit Nakheel, developer of Dubai’s palm-tree shaped islands, said in January it would halt work on a one kilometre tall tower for a year as the former boomtown suffers from a downturn in its property market.

By Reuters

Iskandar attracts strong interest at Abu Dhabi property expo

ISKANDAR Malaysia drew encouraging response from potential investors in the Middle East during the recent four-day Cityscape Abu Dhabi property exhibition, according to its developer Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB).

IIB managing director Arlida Ariff said there were more than 1,500 visitors to its booth, which showcased the Medini Iskandar Malaysia and Iskandar Waterfront Development projects. The exhibition was held from April 19 to 22,

"We were overwhelmed at the response we received from investors, in spite of the current weak global economy," she said in a statement yesterday. "We will now work hard to translate this positive interest into real investments."

Arlida said Medini Iskandar Malaysia recorded interest from investors from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, South Korea, United States and Lebanon. The main areas of interest were in education, hotel and residential landbanks.

As for the Iskandar Waterfront Development project, the focus were the Iskandar Residences and A2 Villa projects which received interest mainly from UAE investors.

"Despite the global economic slowdown, the Middle East remains one of our main target markets for investment for Iskandar Malaysia," said Arlida.

Part of IIB's delegation at the exhibition was a Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) agent, who received around 50 serious enquiries on the programme.

The MM2H is an international residency scheme promoted by the government to allow foreigners to live in the country on a long-stay visa of up to 10 years.

"The relevance of this programme to the development of Iskandar Malaysia is that we are not just looking for people to buy property but also need the population to build and sustain the development corridor."

More than 300 companies from over 30 countries took part in the property exhibition.

By Business Times (by Shahrum Sayuthi)

Penang allocates RM150m for halal park

The Penang state government has allocated RM150 million to set up the Penang Halal Park in Bukit Minyak in Seberang Prai, part of efforts to transform the state into an international halal hub.

State Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Abdul Malik Abdul Kassim said the state government has signed six memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with various parties to develop halal clusters, namely manufacturing, logistics, agro-based industry, finance and hospitality.

He said under the agreements with Asian Finance Bank from Qatar and Unicorn International Islamic Bank of Bahrain, Penang, via the Penang International Halal Hub (PIHH), will serve as a virtual centre to link halal firms and investors to both banks as the reference institutions for advisory and consultancy on syariah-compliant financing.

"Al-Jawhara Group of hotels from Dubai had also agreed to establish a link through PIHH, to the Penang hotel industries, to develop a syariah-compliant hotel industry," Abdul Malik said at a media briefing held in conjunction with the fourth World Halal Forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

At the same event, Halagel (M) Sdn Bhd signed an MOU with Penang Development Corp to buy a large parcel of land at the Penang Halal Park to build Southeast Asia's first halal gelatin plant.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, also present, said investors will benefit from the comprehensive support linking Penang to the supply chain, from getting raw materials to final manufacturing and distribution to consumers worldwide.

By Business Times (by Azlan Abu Bakar)