Dubai Holding will not sell Jumeirah Group

Dubai Holding, owned by the ruler of the Gulf emirate, will not sell or list its luxury hotelier Jumeirah Group to pay off debt maturing next year, Jumeirah Group’s chairman was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Al Bayan newspaper carried the remarks which Gerald Lawless made in an interview with Forbes magazine, published on Friday.

“Jumeirah and Dubai Holding are part of each other and Jumeirah is not going anywhere,” Lawless told the magazine. “Dubai Holding will be fine.”

Dubai rocked global markets on Nov. 25 when it asked creditors for a standstill agreement on $26 billion in debt linked to conglomerate Dubai World and its two main property units, Nakheel and Limitless World. Dubai meets creditors on Monday.

Last week, the Gulf Arab emirate got a $10 billion lifeline from neighbouring Abu Dhabi, enabling it to stave off default on a $4.1 billion Islamic bond, or sukuk, issued by Nakheel.

Dubai Holding has about $1.9 billion of debt maturing in the first half of next year.

A planned merger between three of Dubai Holding’s property firms — Dubai Properties, Sama Dubai and Tatweer — and Emaar Properties was called off on Dec. 9 adding to uncertainty about the debts of Dubai state-linked firms.

Jumeirah Group, which manages the sail-shaped Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai, manages eight hotels and has 14 more under construction.

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