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Tue 19 Apr 2016 07:46 PM

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Emaar Malls sees 124m shoppers in 2015, approves 10% dividend

Emaar chief Mohamed Alabbar says he plans to expand business by creating 'iconic retail destinations'

Emaar Malls sees 124m shoppers in 2015, approves 10% dividend

Emaar Malls, the shopping malls and retail business majority-owned by property developer Emaar Properties, on Tuesday approved a proposal to distribute a cash dividend to shareholders of 10 percent, equivalent to $354 million. 

The annual general meeting of the company also approved the amendment of its name from Emaar Malls Group to Emaar Malls.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Malls and Emaar Properties, said: “Emaar Malls is a significant contributor to Dubai’s retail sector, which today accounts for nearly 30 percent of the total GDP.

"Emaar Malls is positioned at the top of the league in the growth of Dubai’s retail sector, and our strategy is to further expand our business by creating iconic retail destinations for visitors from around the world."

Alabbar said that the highlight of the Emaar Malls expansion strategy is the launch of a dedicated retail district in Dubai Creek Harbour that will be linked to the new tower that forms the vibrant heart of the development.

“Having welcomed over 80 million annual visitors for two consecutive years, The Dubai Mall will also continue to be a strong contributor to our recurring revenues,” he added.

Emaar Malls said it has a gross leasable area of about 6 million sq ft which is being expanded with the addition of another 1 million sq ft built-up area at The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue. This will add another 150 leading international and local brands to the mall. 

In 2015, Emaar Malls recorded a net profit of AED1.656 billion ($451 million) while rental income was AED2.992 billion, a growth of 11 percent. 

The company said visitor arrivals across all Emaar Malls assets crossed 124 million in 2015, an increase of 9 percent compared to 2014, with The Dubai Mall accounting for 80 million annual visitors.

Occupancy levels reached 96 percent in 2015, while base rent renewal rates clocked an increase of 25 percent for leases renewed during 2015. 

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