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Tue 4 Mar 2014 12:48 PM

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Dubai's Damac says profit tripled to $641m

Developer said revenue last year grew 77% to $1.2bn, as the emirate's property market recovers

Dubai's Damac says profit tripled to $641m

Dubai luxury real estate developer Damac tripled
its 2013 net profit and plans more new projects this year, it said on Tuesday,
dismissing growing concerns of a new property bubble in the emirate's real
estate market.

Property prices in Dubai rebounded by more than 20
percent last year, having slumped more than 50 percent from a 2008 peak before
a real estate crash sparked a debt crisis.

Damac, which listed its shares on the London Stock
Exchange in December, posted a net profit of $641.5m last year, against $212.5m
in 2012. Revenue for the year grew 77 percent to $1.2bn.

The developer, which gave away yachts and sports
cars to buyers of its luxury properties during the downturn, said it booked
sales worth $2.5bn in 2013, compared with only $661m the previous year.

"We're staying focused on Dubai. We are on track
to deliver another 5,000 units this year," Hussain Sajwani, the executive
chairman and chief executive of Damac, said in an interview after announcing
the results.

Industry experts have warned of another bubble in
the Dubai property market if growth remains uncontrolled. House prices in Dubai
will return to pre-crisis highs next year, property consultant Jones Lang
LaSalles said last month.

Sajwani said he's not concerned about a bubble
because there is a limited supply of properties in the market.

"While there were hundreds of developer in
Dubai in 2008, now there are just a handful...so supply is limited."

"I think another 25,000 to 30,000 units
entering Dubai should be okay. Anything more could be a concern."

Sajwani said the company will announce more new
projects in Dubai and one or two new schemes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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