x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Emaar profits rise 50% as Dubai Mall visitors reach 6 million monthly

Profits at Burj Khalifa developer Emaar Properties rose 50 per cent year on year to Dh581 million during the third quarter as the company benefitted from a strong hospitality and leisure market and the continued rebound in the Dubai property market.

Footfall at the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping centre, increased 24 per cent over the year to a staggering 55 million visitors over the period - 26 times the population of Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Footfall at the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping centre, increased 24 per cent over the year to a staggering 55 million visitors over the period - 26 times the population of Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Emaar Properties recorded a 50 per cent rise in third-quarter profits helped by more than 6 million visitors to The Dubai Mall every month.
The number of visitors to the mall, the world's largest shopping centre by total area, rose 24 per cent over the period to 55 million - 26 times the population of Dubai.
"It's designed for that kind of traffic," said David Macadam, the regional chief executive of The International Council of Shopping Centres.
"What it shows is that the mall is really working well. But what it shows more importantly is that the tourism, the infrastructure, the airport, the taxis, the power, the water - all of the infrastructure that's in Dubai that is world leading - is really working well."
Net income rose to Dh581 million from Dh387m a year earlier,
Analysts say they were not surprised by the figure, and expect the mall to keep on growing in popularity.
"They are improving the offer of Dubai Mall all the time," said Matthew Green, the head of research and consultancy for CBRE.
"They are going ahead with the refurbishment [with] another 1 million square feet of overall space to be added . so we expect them to be able to maintain this type of momentum and continue to expand on the number of visitors there."
Emaar's shopping malls and retail division reported revenues of Dh2.3 billion during the first nine months of the year, up 22 per cent on a year earlier.
Its retail and leisure business contributed 44 per cent of total revenues, bringing in Dh3.4bn over the first nine months of the year.
Total revenue for the quarter rose 43 per cent to Dh2.3bn.
The results mean that Emaar's net profits for the first three quarters of the year rose 13 per cent, compared with the previous year to Dh1.8bn on the back of a 36 per cent increase in revenues of Dh7.6bn.
The company said the total asset value of its real estate sales of projects in Dubai during the first nine months of the year reached more than Dh9bn - nearly three times the amount of sales made during the same period in 2012.
Most of this came from off-plan sales of projects such as its Burj Vista in Downtown Dubai and Palma Villas at its Arabian Ranches project.
"Our new developments in real estate, malls and hospitality underline our strategic approach to supporting Dubai's all-round growth," said Emaar's chairman Mohamed Alabbar.
"Over the past nine months we have entered into joint venture agreements with large government companies such as Dubai Holding and Meraas Holding to develop mega projects in Dubai that will catalyse the economy."
gduncan@thenational.ae
lbarnard@thenational.ae