* Developer denies World islands washing away
* Says in talks to sell remaining 30 pct of project
DUBAI, Jan 26 Dubai developer Nakheel [NAKHD.UL]
on Wednesday rejected reports that its 300 man-made islands
shaped like a map of the world are washing away and said it is
in talks to sell a remaining 30 percent of the delayed project.
"The World islands are definitely not sinking, washing away
or eroding," Nakheel Chief Executive Chris O'Donnell told
The developer, whose debt troubles forced its parent company
Dubai World [DBWLD.UL] to announce a shock debt delay in 2009,
took journalists on an organised visit to a few of the islands
on the 7 km (4.4 mile) -wide archipelago in the Gulf, but did
not allow video cameras or photography.
A tribunal set up for claims related to Dubai World's debt
restructuring heard a case this month where Penguin Marine, a
company hired by Nakheel to ferry construction goods and people,
said the islands were falling back into the sea, media reports
Last year, Nakheel described media reports about the sinking
of the islands as "wholly inaccurate". [ID:nLDE6111Y8]
Nakheel officials said there would be some minor erosion
that may change the shape of the islands but this was not
Most developers have halted work on the islands after the
Gulf Arab emirate's booming property sector was hit by the
global downturn. Nakheel said development of the islands was the
concern of the owners.
"We delivered our commitment based on the contract and it is
now up to the developer," said Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid
He said the company had sold 70 percent of the islands and
was in talks to sell the remaining.
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by David Holmes)