x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 November 2017

Damac Properties managing director Ziad El Chaar resigns

The company did not name a replacement for Mr El Chaar in a Dubai bourse filing.

Ziad El Chaar became managing director of Damac in 2011. Pawan Singh / The National
Ziad El Chaar became managing director of Damac in 2011. Pawan Singh / The National

Damac Properties, the Dubai property developer, said that its managing director and executive board member Ziad El Chaar has resigned.

The company did not say when the resignation takes or took effect, nor did it name a replacement. It said, however, in a regulatory filing to the Dubai stock exchange that Ossama Abbas would assume the responsibilities of general sales.

“We regretfully announce the departure of Mr El Chaar but wish to thank him wholeheartedly for the outstanding efforts during his time with Damac and the many achievements he spearheaded during this period,” said Hussain Sajwani, the chairman of Damac Properties.

“On behalf of myself and the board and all staff members we wish to thank him for all the valuable contributions he has made to the company.

“We wish him every success in his future endeavors.”

Mr El Chaar became managing director in 2011, having worked his way up the ladder. He started as vice president of international sales in 2005, then went on to become international general manager in 2006 and general manager of operations in 2009.

Damac Properties reported a 16 per cent fall in first-quarter net profit, missing analysts’ forecasts, because of lower property development revenue and a sharp drop in income from the cancellation of units.

Mr El Chaar stoked controversy in 2015 when he accused some of the real estate sector’s biggest brokerages of “professional malpractice” by publishing Dubai market reports forecasting excess supply.

The executive slammed data put out by property brokers as inaccurate and damaging to market sentiment, in an open letter sent to media in October 2015.

The Dubai-based developer of Damac Hills and Aykon City posted a net income of Dh880 million, compared with Dh1.1 billion in the same period last year. Profit came in well below a forecast of Dh1.1bn made by NBAD Securities.

Although Damac’s revenue rose by 20 per cent to Dh1.19bn for the quarter, property development revenue slipped by 18.5 per cent to Dh1.08bn. Income from the cancellation of units declined by 72 per cent to Dh86m for the period.

Booked sales reached Dh2.2bn for the quarter, up by 10 per cent from Dh2bn for the same period last year and up by 30 per cent from Dh1.6bn for the fourth quarter of last year.

The company said that such figures were consistent with earlier guidance of Dh7bn booked sales for 2017.

The developer announced plans last month for a five-tower hotel made up of 2,000 rooms overlooking its planned Trump-branded golf course at Akoya Oxygen.

Analysts remain optimistic on Damac, despite uncertainty over the prospects for Dubai’s real estate market in 2017.

Shares of Damac Properties closed unchanged at Dh2.87 in Dubai.

mkassem@thenational.ae

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