A view from right at the top of Marina 101. Will a second auction attempt nail some bids? Image Credit: Screenshot

Dubai: Will a second auctioning attempt prove lucky in selling the hotel component at the Dubai Marina 101 skyscraper? The reserve price for the auction of the ground plus 32 storeys has been chopped from last week’s Dh361 million to Dh325.3 million.

Interested parties have until 5pm today (May 31) to put in their bids. Last week’s try failed to get any bids.

“Even dropping the reserve price by Dh36 million may not be enough to convince potential bidders,” said an industry source keenly watching the latest episode in the long-running Marina 101 saga. “It shows that the seller is under pressure and willing to make major cuts on their prices.”

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Who’s the seller?

The Marina 101 project is now 16 years in the making. At its 2005-06 launch, it was among the initial set of signature skyscrapers Dubai’s landscape would be adorned with. But the Dh1 billion project – which is 97.3 per cent complete – ran into cost and time overruns, and was never able to overcome that.

The project came to a halt in 2019 with just about all of the outer structure complete. But the developer, Sheffield, had by then ran up a sizeable debt with the banks, with India’s Bank of Baroda being the main one.

The auction process has been initiated by Bank of Baroda. “For many, it would still make sense for the banks to sell off the entire building rather than the G+32 portion,” said an industry source. “Would anyone want to pick up just the hotel portion when the entire project might have legal liabilities?”

Today’s close of bidding time will provide some answers to that.