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Master developer Nakheel on Monday hit back at claims made by Dubai property group ACI Real Estate – and insisted its Waterfront mega-project was going ahead.

Robin Lohmann, managing director of ACI Real Estate, in an interview with Arabian Business this week, blamed the state-owned developer for a lack of progress on his flagship Ferretti Luxury Beach Residence and Pershing Luxury Beach Residence projects, located in the Madinat Al Arab area of the Nakheel’s Waterfront development in Jebel Ali.

“We have invested in several plots in Dubai Waterfront. We need to know from the master developer of Waterfront, which is Nakheel, if they plan to go ahead with the project now or not. Once we have these answers we can give to answers our purchasers,” Lohmann said.

But in an emailed statement to Arabian Business Nakheel said it had handed over ACI’s two plots and the company was free to start construction.

“The two plots which ACI own at Madinat Al Arab have already been handed over,” a spokesman for Nakheel said.

“Waterfront has not been cancelled. Our current focus at Waterfront is on Badrah, Veneto, and Madinat Al Arab. Work continues to make good progress at these sites,” the spokesman added.

The Madinat Al Arab phase of the Waterfront is due for completion in 2015. Other sub-developers such as Plus Properties have started construction at Madinat on its Pixel Tower and Wave Residence projects.

“At Madinat Al Arab, we remain committed to providing infrastructure to third party developers as per their Sales and Purchase Agreements. The majority of plots in this phase have been handed over with some third party developers already mobilised on-site,” the Nakheel spokesman added.

Dubai-based property developer and investment company ACI Real Estate, is a division ACI (Alternative Capital Invest) Group, a German firm with interests in asset management and real estate.

The Waterfront is a planned seaside mega project, twice the size of Hong Kong. It is being built over six phases and completion dates range from 2010 to 2018.

Nakheel said in December the Madinat Al Arab, Veneto, Badra and Canal District phases of the Waterfront were pressing ahead, while other sections would be delayed in the wake of the global crisis.

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