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Dubai World’s massive Halong Star hotel and resort complex in Halong city should begin work in April
At a meeting discussing the project’s progress recently held in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the Dubai investor and its consultant presented detailed plans for a 215-hectare site, an increase of 90 hectares on the initial project plan. The first phase of the project, according to the investor, would begin in mid-April.
According to the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Van Doc, Limitless would need to make adjustments to the plan’s construction density and the height of the buildings according to the province’s new zoning plan and submit a deposit.
Doc requested the investor attempt to focus on environmentally-friendly international standard construction best practices on a site that will include a hotel, shopping centre, housing and resort.
The investor will also have its hands tied, being barred for re-sale or re-lease until after construction is finished. The first phase of this project, Doc stressed, must be finished in 24 months.
Limitless CEO Mohammed Rashed, during a visit by Vietnamese government officials to Dubai in December last year insisted that the company’s Halong Star project was key element in the company’s portfolio.
“Halong Bay attracted over 1.2 million travellers last year, according to official figures. That’s an average of 100,000 people a month looking for accommodation and attractions in this beautiful part of the world,” said Mohammed Rashed.
“Halong Star is set to bring a new style of living, shopping and tourism options to Halong Bay, with a range of homes, retail facilities and a hotel forming part of the master plan,” he said.
Quang Ninh authorities approved Limitless’ investment certificate earlier in 2014, allowing the developer to legally move forward with its development. The $550 million project first began in 2007 as a joint venture between Limitless, Viet-My Ha Long Joint Stock Company and International Property Investment Partners LLC.
The project, which was originally valued at $220 million, broke ground in 2008. The total registered investment capital was then bolstered to $550 million in 2009, while International Property Investment Partners LLC transferred its minority stake to the Vietnamese partner.
However, in 2009 Dubai World was left exposed during the world financial crisis, forcing the company to halt all projects worldwide in order to restructure their $26 billion debt. In 2010, Limitless announced that it had sorted out its financial problems and would continue the project. The company was then forced to apply for an amended investment certificate after the three-year delay.
Halong Star is a high-end, low density development near the UNESCO world heritage site of Halong Bay. Located 200 metres from the bay, the project comprises a 250-room, five-star hotel with a 500-seat conference centre, a 100-room luxury boutique hotel, more than 230 villas, and hundreds of townhouses and apartments for up to 4,000 residents along with a range of public facilities.