Dubai property giant Emaar bucks downturn with profit bump

DUBAI (AFP) – Dubai construction and hospitality giant Emaar Properties last Sunday reported a rise in interim profit results, posting higher sales despite an economic downturn that has depressed the property industry.

The company, which owns the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, said it posted USD362 million in net profit in the third quarter, up 20 per cent from USD302.4 million in the same period last year.

Dubai is defined by its beachfront skyscrapers and man-made islands, but it is stuck in a five-year property downturn with analysts saying there will be no relief in the near term.

The government in 2018 introduced a raft of rescue measures including easy visa terms for expatriate buyers and permanent residency permits for big investors. And in September, a top-level committee was established to rebalance the market.

Emaar, the largest property firm in the Middle East, reported that over the first nine months of the year net profits rose just 2.3 per cent to USD1.2 billion, from USD1.18 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

Sales in the first three quarters of 2019 hit USD3.44 billion, a surge of 25 per cent on the same period last year.

The growth was attributed to the “resilient performance of the property, malls and hospitality business,” the company said in a statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market website. Since 2002, Emaar has delivered some 59,000 residential units in Dubai and other global markets.

Besides real estate, Emaar has a number of malls, including Dubai Mall, the world’s most visited shopping centre, and several hotels.