Emaar says it is not selling observation decks at Burj Khalifa

Company plans to raise finance against cashflow generated by the popular tourist spot

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: N/A. Standalone. Dark clouds and rain surround the Burj Khalifa. Tuesday, December 10th, 2019. Downtown, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Emaar Properties, the UAE's biggest developer by market capitalisation, does not intend to sell observation decks at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world.

The company instead plans to use proceeds from the tourist attraction, known as "At the Top", as a security for fund raising, it said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade.

Emaar is considering "a structured transaction wherein financing is being raised against the cashflows of At The Top", the company said.

“This financing is being raised in the normal course of business,” the company said without revealing how much it intends to raise in financing or when the deal will be concluded.

A Reuters report on Monday said the developer is planning to sell the observation decks and the transaction could fetch the company as much as $1 billion (Dh3.67bn).

At The Top is a popular tourist destination in Dubai, the trading and tourism hub of the Middle East, which attracted 15.92 million overnight visitors in 2018.

The viewing decks make about Dh600 to Dh700 million a year, Reuters reported, citing a banking source.

Emaar Properties reported a 20 per cent increase in third quarter profit, boosted by higher sales in residential and commercial developments.

Net profit for the three months to the end of September reached Dh1.33bn and revenue rose 14 per cent to Dh6.08bn.

"Emaar's results are driven by its key principles of having the best people working day and night to achieve utmost customer happiness through providing them superior product and services," the company's chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, said in November.

The company has delivered more than 59,000 new homes since 2002 and owns a land bank of more than 1.7 billion square feet. Last month, it announced the launch of a Dh25bn project on the Dubai-Al Ain road known as The Valley.