Nakheel invites Emaar boss to work on The World

The new boss of Nakheel has asked the chairman of rival developer Emaar to come forward with his proposal to build a floating bridge that could revitalise the troubled manmade islands development, The World.

“If he has a proposal of building a bridge, probably he should come and we will see how we can do it,” Nakheel CEO Sanjay Manchanda said during a CEO Clubs UAE luncheon.

During an interview last week, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar suggested building a floating bridge between Dubai and The World to help rescue the project.

“Somebody has to put it back to life. I would probably build a bridge straight into it now – a floating bridge,” Alabbar said.

“You need a bridge to at least one of the islands and from there people can go to all the different islands. You need to bring life to it.

“I like the project. I would have probably done it [given the opportunity] and probably changed a few things. Otherwise I really like the project.”

Asked whether he would consider developing such a project, Alabbar said: “It’s not my business, not my project, but if somebody asks me I would be happy to suggest it. But it’s a fabulous development. I like it.”

Development of The World has stalled in the wake of the global financial crisis, with all but one of the island owners completing construction.

Owners have said they have been unable to develop the islands due to a lack of vital infrastructure promised by Nakheel.

Nakheel has previously said that building work is the responsibility of the owners. Manchanda said he accepted Alabbar’s comments as a compliment.

“I think he is probably advocating that we are doing things right, he likes the project. He’s complimenting Nakheel.”