Tourism Development and Investment Company, the flagship developer of cultural and residential projects in Abu Dhabi, believes it can break even this year for the first time.
TDIC eyes break-even after year of writedowns
Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the flagship developer of cultural and residential projects in Abu Dhabi, believes it can break even this year for the first time.
It comes despite the company suffering a Dh1.2 billion (US$326.6 million) loss last year.
The developer said yesterday it had delivered a number of projects last year that helped to increase the value of operating assets by 147 per cent to more than Dh9bn.
But the group's net loss widened 10 per cent on 2010 due to write-downs on some newly completed assets given the weakened property market in the emirate. "In 2011, we accomplished phenomenal sales of TDIC's residential properties," said Ahmed Al Fahim, the executive director of sales and leasing for the company.
"Dh2.1bn in sales were closed and these will be reflected in the company's financial statements as they are handed over to their owners in the coming year."
He added a combination of the launch of revenue-generating assets and new residential property sales this year should mean profits before tax and depreciation are positive for the first time in the company's history.
TDIC opened a number of new projects last year, including the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort,as well as four and five-bedroom villas at the resort.
The agency launched the Monte-Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat and started delivering the Saadiyat Beach Villas project, which offers three, four, five and six-bedroom villas and townhouses.
The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa was also opened last November, just in time for the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January.
TDIC will this year also launch the Saadiyat Beach Apartments and the residential element of the Eastern Mangroves development in Abu Dhabi, a hotel and resort managed by the Thai operator Anantara.
TDIC unveiled a new construction timetable in January, having cut its budget by almost a third last year and axed about 100 jobs in May.
Its prized and long-delayed cultural projects are now scheduled to be completed by 2017, with the Louvre Abu Dhabi first to open in 2015 followed by the Zayed National Museum in 2016 and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017.
"2011 was a very significant year for TDIC, as we delivered a number of our high-profile hospitality assets in Saadiyat and Abu Dhabi," said Sultan Mohamad Al Mahmood, the executive director of strategic performance at TDIC.
"These newly opened properties began to stabilise by the end of 2011 and, looking forward to 2012, will provide a strong uplift to the company's earnings."
TDIC is a crucial cog in Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030, combined with the development of Yas Island, the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport and the strategy to dramatically increase tourist numbers to the emirate.
Building at the airport's new Dh10bn Midfield Terminal will start in the third quarter of this year it was announced last week.
Abu Dhabi also reported record figures for tourists last year, with more than 2.1 million guests checking into hotels in the capital, which plans to attract 7.9 million hotels guests annually by 2030.
"Saadiyat Island is an absolutely integral part of the 2030 plan and putting Abu Dhabi on the map," said David Dudley, the Abu Dhabi director at the global property specialists Jones Lang LaSalle.
"With Yas Island, the expansion of the airport and the expansion of Etihad Airways, all these add together to a quality tourism destination."
Mr Dudley added the villas and apartments on Saadiyat would be some of the highest-quality properties in the whole of the UAE. "It's high quality infrastructure, architecture … and investment for the future growth of Abu Dhabi," he said.
Established in 2006, TDIC recorded losses of Dh1.15bn in 2010, Dh551m in 2009 and Dh368.6m in 2008. It ended last year with more than Dh2bn in cash on its balance sheet.