Emaar boss looks to the future
Emaar chief on the Address blaze and The Tower
The chairman of Dubai property giant Emaar has described how the Address fire was “scary” for the company.
Mohammed Alabbar also said safety is the “number one” focus, particularly when it comes to skyscrapers such as the Address and the Burj Khalifa.
The Address is currently being partially rebuilt and will not reopen in 2016.
In an wide ranging interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Alabbar said he is optimistic about the economy, and said that oil producers countries will “get used” to low prices.
He also said the plaza surrounding The Tower, the skyscraper planned for Dubai Creek Harbour, would be more than twice the size of the Dubai Mall/Downtown shopping plaza area.
Asked about the efforts needed to maintain Burj Khalifa, he said: “The Address fire was a scary thing for us, so safety is number one.
“But I think the building [Burj] is doing really well… we have earthquakes every once in a while coming from Iran, it stands it really very well.”
He was also asked about oil prices, which stood at $50 yesterday, up from $28 in January.
He said: “Business is good, I must say probably towards the end of last year, a little bit of concern with interest rates, oil prices, issues in China, but things are stabilising a little bit, the year is looking much better than we thought.
“I think psychologically people have stabilised their minds... even if it comes down to $30-$35... people get used to that.”
Alabbar also spoke about The Tower in Dubai Creek Harbour, and said the surrounding plaza - 1,200 hectares - would be far larger than the 500-hectare Dubai Mall and promenade area.
Some reports said The Tower will be 100m taller than Burj Khalifa, though that is yet to be confirmed.
He added: “You know when kids come and look at the Burj, and they look at the new burj [ The Tower], for them, these are such special moments.”
DAMAGE: The Address is being repaired but will not reopen in 2016