ICD profit surges to more than $4bn on tourism rebound and higher oil and gas revenue

The sovereign wealth fund's first-half revenue is up 61 per cent

The UAE economy is set to grow by more than 6 per cent this year, according to the IMF. Bloomberg
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The Investment Corporation of Dubai, the sovereign wealth fund of the emirate, reported a more than ten-fold increase in net income for the first half of 2022, helped by a surge in tourism activity and higher oil and gas revenue.

The company’s net profit rose to Dh14.8 billion ($4 billion) from about Dh1.4 billion reported in the same period in 2021, ICD said on Wednesday.

The profit attributable to the equity holder for the period jumped to Dh12.2 billion. ICD’s first-half revenue reached a “record” Dh121.1 billion, a 61 per cent increase compared to last year as its assets grew to more than Dh1 trillion, the end of the six month period, the company said.

“We are proud to record ICD’s best-ever financial performance during the first half of a year, underscoring Dubai’s position as one of the world’s most dynamic, resilient, and future-ready cities,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of ICD, said.

“We will continue to foster innovation, especially in future-focused sectors, while driving efficiency and implementing confidence-boosting measures in our traditional economic pillars to set new benchmarks and enhance Dubai’s global competitiveness.”

ICD, which was established in 2006, has a portfolio that includes some of Dubai's most recognised companies, deemed strategic for the development and growth of the emirate. Its local and international holdings span financial services, transportation, energy and industry, real estate and leisure and retail.

Dubai reached 85 per cent of the pre-pandemic number of international tourists to the emirate in the first nine months of this year as it continues to rebound from the Covid-19 global crisis.

The city hosted 10.12 million overnight visitors from January to September, compared to 12.08 million in the same period of 2019 prior to the pandemic, according to the latest available government data.

The UAE has announced a national tourism strategy aimed at attracting 40 million hotel guests, raising Dh100 billion in additional tourism investment and increasing the sector’s contribution to the country's gross domestic product to Dh450 billion by 2031.

ICD owns Emirates, which reported a record profit in the first half of the current financial year on strong travel demand during the peak summer season as international borders reopened and coronavirus restrictions eased.

The world's largest long-haul airline swung to a Dh4 billion profit in the April to September period, from a loss of Dh5.8 billion in the same period last year, citing its ability to increase capacity in response to the surge in travel demand.

The UAE economy is set to grow by more than 6 per cent this year, after expanding by 3.8 per cent in 2021, buttressed by a rebound in tourism, construction and activity related to the Expo 2020 Dubai, the International Monetary Fund has said.

An expansion of 6 per cent would be the highest since 2011, when the economy grew by 6.9 per cent.

The UAE economy expanded by 8.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, exceeding initial estimates, as a result of higher oil prices and successful Covid-19 mitigation measures.

Brent crude, the benchmark for two thirds of the world’s oil, closed in on an all-time high of $140 a barrel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 5:43 PM