The sky's the limit

The launch of a top-secret, US $12 billion development codenamed ‘Project A’ is the first phase for newly formed developer ‘Limitless’. CEO Middle East talks to Saeed Ahmed Saeed, chief executive of the region’s first global super-planning group to uncover the mystery

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By  Andrew Mernin Published  May 11, 2006

|~||~||~|The mysteriously entitled ‘Project A’ sounds like a plot for world domination concocted by Dr No or Goldfinger in the cinematic realm of James Bond, however it is in fact the debut project for Limitless – the region’s first international integrated property developer. And it’s mission, that it has chosen to accept, is to become one of the world’s largest and most successful companies of its kind in the world. Although Limitless’s chief executive Saeed Ahmed Saeed gives little away about the inaugural 75 million square foot Dubai-based ‘Project A,’ he is keen to unveil how the newly formed group intends to realise its colossal global potential. “Limitless has no geographical barriers and we will carry out projects as an integrated and international real estate company from day one,” he says. “We will create sustainable buildings and developments, deliver with distinction in everything we do and act as a centre for innovation and integrated development.” Launched last month in Dubai, Limitless is a 100% owned subsidiary of the already established holding company, Dubai World, and at its core is a team who are well versed in large-scale, groundbreaking construction projects. The Limitless team is lead by Saeed, the former managing director of construction giant Nakheel that has been instrumental in developing some of Dubai’s most iconic projects such as the Palm Jumeirah and the World islands. Saeed, however, believes that the company’s combined expertise will help it to out-grow Dubai’s sandy construction sites and instead establish strong foundations in the global marketplace. “The Limitless team is at the forefront of urban planning and sustainable development. 16,000 hectares of development in a city is super-planning and we are at the forefront of this,” he says proudly. “We are major players in super-planning and have the ability to manage large projects. We have leading waterfront capabilities and expertise (and) we will be able to deliver what we promise – this is the kind of quality we have,” he adds. Along the way to fulfilling its titanic ambition, Saeed admits that Limitless will have to tread carefully when recruiting new members to the already well-equipped team. “We will only employ people who are experts in their particular fields and who believe in the rigours of planning delivery and distinction,” he says. As he takes Limitless to the global stage, Saeed will also have to address both the financial make-up of the business and the international rules it will have to adhere to. “We are fully funded by Dubai World and we will have to perhaps look into the debt market, look to acquire more financial capital and possibly look at some strategic financial investors,” he says. “Although private, we will adhere to international standards, corporate governance and international accounting and auditing principals,” he adds. Saeed also recognises a responsibility to build property that enriches the lives of its inhabitants. “People suffer from congestion and traffic everyday and the only way to overcome this is by building a balanced community, and places where people want to live and not have to live,” he says. Once ‘Project A’ is under construction in Dubai, however, what will be the next market to be cornered by the Limitless team? “We will look at countries and regions where the company can establish long-term projects. We will examine long-term real estate trends, GDP growth, among other things,” he adds. Unfortunately, those eager CEO Middle East readers looking to catch a sneak preview of how the Limitless vision will take shape in bricks and mortar, will have to wait for a short while at least. “You will not see any artist’s impressions for any of our projects. These are not dreams, this is reality.” While many aspects of the Limitless brand remain shrouded in secrecy, it seems that few things will stand in the way of the company’s path towards world domination.||**||

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