Up, Up and Away

goldbarsEmaar released their 2013 results this week with a 21.3% jump in profits to US$ 698 million on a 25.2% rise in revenue to US$ 2.81 billion, of which its retail and hospitality sector accounted for 46%. The developer sold property at more than US$ 3.27 billion – three times higher than in the previous year.

Majid Al Futtaim will add another floor to its Mall of the Emirates, thereby upping its current retail space by a further 25k sq mt. This forms part of its scheduled US$ 273 million development plan for a 25% increase in retail space by the end of next year.

Nakheel has received six tenders – the cheapest of which comes in at US$ 323 million – for its US$ 681 million Nakheel Mall. Situated on Jumeirah Palm, and covering 418k sq mt, the complex, which will include 200 shops and twelve restaurants, should be completed by 2016, with the nominated contractor being announced within three months.

EFECO, a subsidiary of Arabtec Holding, has won a US$ 272 million contract for MEP work in Kazakhstan. This is part of a US$ 1.1 billion Aldar Abu Dhabi Plaza development in the capital Astana.

Emaar has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abdul Latif Jameel for future real estate projects in Saudi Arabia. The JV will be known as Emaar Jameel.

The company also released their 2013 results with a 21.3% jump in profits to US$ 698 million on a 25.2% rise in revenue to US$ 2.81 billion, of which its retail and hospitality sector accounted for 46%. The developer sold property at more than US$ 3.27 billion – three times higher than in the previous year.

Deyaar is set to increase the percentage of its shares that can be bought by foreign investors with a proviso that 51% must be in the hands of Emiratis; of the 49% balance, 24% must be held by GCC nationals. Other companies are looking at loosening the ownership restrictions before the local bourses join the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in May.

As reported earlier, Dubai hotels had a bumper 2013 with three major indicators all moving upwards: GOPPAR (gross operating profit per available room, ARR (average room rates) and RevPAR (revenue per available room) were up 10.3% (US$ 206), 6.5% (US$ 324) and 7.6%. Furthermore official figures also reflect the growth with Dubai International recording a 15.2% surge in passenger traffic to 66.4 million as well as hotels showing a 10% rise to 7.9 million for the first nine months of 2013, with spending up 17% at US$ 4.2 billion.

The Dubai-based district cooling company, Empower, is finalising a US$ 600 million six-year loan which is largely being used for its recent US$ 500 million acquisition of Palm Utilities, formerly part of Dubai World.

DEWA has started work on a 400kv main substation which will provide power to the massive US$ 8.2 billion Mohammed bin Rashid City. The unit, scheduled for completion in 2017, will provide electricity for the exciting development that will encompass 54 million sq ft.

Dubai Investments joins a host of developers who have recently announced major projects as the emirate’s real estate sector gains traction. The company will soon be relaunching its US$ 817 million Mirdiff Hills development along with phase 3 of its Green Community. The latter will have 250 units and will cost US$ 136 million.

The RTA has approved US$ 28 million funding for the construction of the Muhaisna 2 Internal Roads project. This is part of a US$ 271 million plan for the paving of internal roads in several residential communities. 

Despite a 9.7% hike in its 2013 revenues to US$ 2.94 billion, du’s profit, after royalties, remained flat at US$ 542 million. The Dubai-based telecom operator had to pay an additional US$ 50 million royalty fee in 2013, bringing this total annual payment to US$ 278 million.

Shuua Capital had an eventful 2013 and managed to turn a US$ 16.1 loss into a US$ 0.8 million profit – significant in that it is Dubai’s oldest investment bank’s first annual profit since the start of the GFC in 2008. Revenues were up by 44% to US$ 534 million.

A recent US study indicates that the country will double its spend on domestic security to over US$ 10 billion over the next decade. Security at the local airports is set to tighten even further with up to US$ 60 million being expended over the coming twelve months. 

Five years after borrowing US% $ 510 billion from the UAE Central Bank, Dubai has rolled over the debt on more favourable terms. Although the initial debt maturity is in March, the terms of the revised loan is unknown.

The Dubai General Market Index opened the week at 4099 points and rose 2.05% when closing on Thursday, to 4183 and is already up 24.1% on its January opening of 3370. Bellwether stocks, Emaar and Arabtec, were trading at US$ 2.44 and US$ 1.32 respectively. 

Gold has managed to break out of its recent moribund trading pattern and had reached the US$ 1,323 mark by the end of the week. However, there are some who think that there could be some sort of manipulation going on between the five banks – Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Société Générale – who are known as the London gold fixers for a reason.

January saw US factory production fall 0.8% – its largest decline in almost five years. This was the latest indicator – following declines in employment and retail sales figures – that seems to indicate the fragility of US growth forecasts.

Along with the likes of a booming stock market, surging property prices, rising education fees and increasing living expenses, two other news items this week are sure fire indicators that the balloon is on its way up. Emaar go out and spend a reported several million dollars on a 150 million year old dinosaur for permanent display in its Dubai Mall. Meanwhile, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray have introduced the ultimate Friday brunch in what is the brunch capital of the world. Their Royale Brunch will have personal butlers serving the best of the best and priced at US$ 685. Hopefully the balloon has some way to go before It’s Up, Up and Away!

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