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Middle East developer confirms no sales in last couple of months

Government owned Nakheel, developer of Dubai's famous palm-shaped islands, made no sales in the last couple of months but declared it has adequate funds for current projects.

The company last month announced it would cut back some 15% of its workforce. Now the main aim for 2009 is to match supply and demand, chief executive Chris O'Donnell said. 'Based on what we've done to date and where we see the market going there's no need for further cuts,' he confirmed.

The developer expects market conditions to improve in the region in 2009. 'The banking system is starting to free up with the liquidity that has gone into the market and I think you'll find 2009 we will see a lot more liquidity coming into the market,' he claimed.

'So basically we are matching supply and demand and that is how we are managing our projects,' he added.

O'Donnell revealed that Nakheel had not made any sales in the last couple of months and the firm's first sukuk, worth around $3.6 billion would come up for renewal in November 2009.

Nakheel is one of a number of Dubai developers that have cut staffing levels, scaled back and reviewed projects as a result of the economic crisis. The region is currently awash with rumours about the state of the property industry and property prices are falling for the first time in years.

Omniyat Properties and Damac Holding have announced jobs cuts and Emaar Properties has not ruled them out.