x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Developers soaring profits marks revival in Dubai property market

Nakheel and Union Properties report robust increases in profits, joining Emaar Properties in benefiting from an economic recovery in the first six months of the year across Dubai.

Profits at major Dubai developers soared in the first half of the year, underscoring a revival in the emirate's property market and overall economy.

Both Nakheel and Union Properties reported robust increases in profits, joining Emaar Properties in benefiting from an economic recovery in the first six months of the year across Dubai.

"The whole market is recovering," said Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of Nakheel. "We are seeing demand in all our properties across the board. Six months ago, most of the focus was on the Palm Jumeirah, now we are selling in all our properties in the emirate."

Nakheel achieved net profits of Dh767 million in the first six months of the year, an increase of 36 per cent, compared to Dh562m in the same period last year.

Handovers of new properties throughout Dubai meant revenues increased to Dh3.1 billion from Dh1.4bn in the first half of last year.

Union Properties reversed huge losses last year to report a net profit of Dh106 million for the first half, further underscoring the revival in the emirate's property market.

The property builder, which constructed some of Dubai's high profile projects including the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), said it would now focus on mid-size developments to provide a quicker return. It reported a net profit of Dh106m, compared to a net loss of Dh439m for the first six months of last year.

"With the real estate sector on the path of recovery, together with improved economic indicators in Dubai and the UAE, [Union Properties] is currently evaluating various midsized development projects offering shorter turn around times and reasonable profitability and incremental cash inflows," the company said in a statement.

Union Properties share price increased more than 3 per cent in early trading on the Dubai Financial Market as a result of the positive news.

Results from major developers have confirmed the improving economic health of Dubai and its once ragged property market.

Earlier this week, Emaar recorded operating profit of Dh1.22 billion for the first six months of the year, up 45 per cent on the same period last year, on broadly flat revenues of Dh3.9bn.

Total property transactions increased to Dh4bn in the second quarter compared with Dh3.1bn of deals in the first quarter, a report from the property broker CBRE showed last week.

The retail, aviation and hotels sectors are also all witnessing record growth in numbers as tourists continue to flood the country and residents are more confident to spend.

Dubai International recorded the busiest first half in its history with 27.9 million passengers passing through its three terminals between January and June this year, according to the traffic report issued by airport operator Dubai Airports.

rjones@thenational.ae