Dubai developer Limitless commences work on delayed Vietnam project

The Dubai developer Limitless has started work at a long delayed US$550 million housing and tourism project in Vietnam, as the country’s property sector receives a filip from overseas remittances.

Dubai government-owned Limitless reported yesterday that it started groundwork on its 120-hectare Halong Star project in Halong Bay, north-east Vietnam, nearly a decade after the project was first announced.

Construction of a main access road, which overlooks the Halong Bay Unesco World Heritage Site, is also in progress, Limitless said.

The ambitious Halong Star project, which comprises 340 villas and apartments, retail and leisure facilities and a five- star hotel, was first unveiled in 2007 by Limitless and its joint venture partners with an initial investment of $220 million.

However, the project was then put on hold in 2009 in the wake of the global financial downturn and the Vietnamese market collapse, which left US$6 billion of domestic property unsold.

Since then, led by a reviving Vietnamese economy which grew 6.7 per cent last year – its fastest pace since 2008 – and a relaxation of the country’s strict ownership laws, the property market has picked up again.

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, remittances from the country’s 5 million expatriates living overseas, are expected to soar 15 per cent from 2015 to US$14 billion this year – equating to about 6.4 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Prices for apartments in Hi Chi Minh City – or Saigon as it was formerly known – rose 21 per cent last year to stand at US$1,949 per square metre, according to the property broker CBRE.

In Hanoi, they increased nearly 10 per cent to US$1,592.

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