Emaar plans 'aggressive' sales and market share growth amid booming economy

Exclusive: Company closely watching global macroeconomic outlook and inflation trends but does not plan to change strategy, managing director Mohamed Alabbar says


DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – April 10 , 2016 : Mohamed Alabbar , Chairman of Emaar Properties speaking during the press conference of unveiling of observation tower for Dubai Creek development at Dubai Creek Harbour in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Business. Story by Michael Fahy.  ID No : 87539 
 *** Local Caption ***  PS1004- DUBAI CREEK04.jpg
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Emaar Properties, the biggest listed developer in Dubai, plans to aggressively grow and increase its sales and market share as the UAE economy booms despite global headwinds, its managing director said.

"At the moment, the market is good, we need to push really hard, very aggressively, take market share, increase sales, while watching and being worried about what can go wrong,” Mohamed Alabbar told The National on Tuesday in Riyadh.

Despite the uncertainty facing the global economy, inflationary pressures and an environment of monetary tightening worldwide, Mr Alabbar is bullish.

“I am a man who lived a paranoid and worried life because I’m in a cyclical business: real estate. My worry is how can we run a great company, with great people and a great balance sheet and can handle tough winters,” he said.

“We live in a very volatile world, one week it is corona, next it is war, so I don’t know what will happen next

“I think we are ok for now.”

The UAE economy, Arab world's second-largest, is set to expand by 5.4 per cent this year, according to the UAE Central Bank.

Emirates NBD forecasts that the economy will expand 7 per cent in 2022, while First Abu Dhabi Bank projects 6.7 per cent expansion and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank estimates growth of 6.2 per cent, driven by a strong uptick in oil and non-oil sectors.

The property market in Dubai, which bounced back strongly from the pandemic-driven slowdown, has picked up further momentum this year. Average residential property prices increased by 10 per cent in the year to June, with apartment prices about 9 per cent higher on average and villa prices increasing by 19 per cent, according to the latest CBRE report.

Developers, including Emaar, are launching new projects to cater to rising demand for commercial and residential properties on the back of government initiatives such as residency permits for retirees and remote workers, as well as the expansion of the 10-year Golden Visa programme.

Off-plan and secondary property sales in Dubai reached a 12-year high in the third quarter, both in terms of volume and value, according to a report by Property Finder.

A total of 25,456 sales transactions worth Dh69.72bn were recorded in the third quarter, marking an increase of about 62 per cent in terms of volume and more than 65 per cent in terms of value, compared with the third quarter of 2021.

In September, total transaction volumes in Dubai’s residential market rose 33.4 per cent annually to reach 7,273, according to the latest report from the CBRE.

Average apartment prices increased 8 per cent while villa prices rose 14.3 per cent amid strong demand from buyers.

Prices are still below the 2014 peak and Mr Alabbar said compared with global cities, “I think Dubai is still a good deal”.

Emaar does not plan to change its strategy of aggressive expansion, despite global macroeconomic risk, which he said was not likely to be as strong as the slowdown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I don’t believe that we are going to have a big slowdown in the world,” he said. "This [Russia-Ukraine] war is already nine months old and if something could go wrong, it would have gone wrong by now."

Updated: October 27, 2022, 5:30 AM
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