Dubai’s Emaar, developer of Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – was named as one of the top stocks in the Middle East and North Africa which should be core holdings for investors seeking exposure to the region, according to the report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research.
The report said there were four main reasons Emaar was listed among the most attractive stock in the region.
The report believed Emaar continued to demonstrate strong retail growth and it showed improving profitability from Dubai hotels. It has also accelerated project launches and developments in Dubai and Saudi Arabia and enjoyed a stronger balance sheet and reduced exposure to non-yielding assets like Amlak, analysts found.
Last month, a survey of 1,400 residents in Dubai by real estate agents Better Homes found when considering buying or renting in the emirate, Emaar was considered the most reputable developer to deal with.
The accolades come as the developer reported in April a first quarter net profit of AED556m ($151m), nine percent up on the previous quarter but eight percent down on the year-earlier period.
The Dubai-based developer said its performance had been buoyed by “sustained robust performance of its shopping malls and retail and hospitality and leisure businesses”.
The company recorded a 16 percent growth in revenues to AED2.110bn during the first three months of 2013 compared to Q1 2012.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “Emaar’s first quarter 2013 results are conclusive proof of the remarkable resurgence of Dubai’s property, retail and hospitality sector and the unwavering confidence of investors in Emaar’s developments.
“With a significant pipeline of new world-class real estate projects, we have underlined our industry leadership, while contributing further to the city’s economic growth.
“The overwhelming response to our project launches, from investors in Dubai and international markets, clearly reiterates Dubai’s position as a global hub for business and investment.”
Emaar’s shopping malls and retail and hospitality and leisure businesses contributed 55 percent of total revenue, he added.
Shopping malls and retail revenues totalled AED750m, driven by a record footfall of over 20 million – the largest so far during a three-month period – to The Dubai Mall, Emaar’s flagship mall asset.
Emaar’s hospitality and leisure business contributed AED41m to the company’s first quarter 2013 revenues.
The company has further strengthened its hospitality business with the launch of new Address serviced residences in Downtown Dubai and new hotel management agreements in Turkey, Egypt and Kenya.