Dubai’s Emaar sells 80pc stake in cooling system for USD675M

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Dubai’s state-backed developer Emaar said yesterday it sold an 80 per cent share of its district cooling project around the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, for USD675 million as the city-state’s property market suffers from the new coronavirus pandemic.

The sale to Tabreed, also known as the National Central Cooling Co., had been rumoured for months amid the property market slowdown. With the sale, Tabreed assumes majority ownership of a system of chilled water cooling plants that cool the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera and Dubai Mall during summer months that see temperatures rise above 45 degrees Celsius.

Emaar posted net profits of USD1.68 billion for 2019, but revenue slightly dipped and the developer said it wouldn’t pay a dividend to shareholders.

That comes as property values, a major economic engine of Dubai, have dropped by a third since 2014.

Even before the pandemic, Dubai’s ruler created a commission seeking to slow the sheikhdom’s construction projects out of concern of flooding the market.

A lone taxi cab drives over a typically gridlocked highway with the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in the skyline behind it in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. PHOTO: AP