The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Emaar Malls, the shopping malls and retail business majority-owned by global property developer Emaar Properties, today (Tuesday) approved the proposal of the board to distribute 10 per cent of the share capital, equivalent to Dh1.301 billion ($354 million), as cash dividend for distribution to the shareholders.
The assembly also approved the amendment of the name of the company from Emaar Malls Group to Emaar Malls, and appointed Ernst & Young as auditors for the year 2016. The meeting also approved the report of the Board of Directors on the activities and financial position of the company for year ended December 31, 2015.
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 per cent 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.
“This complements the Dubai Plan 2021 strategy announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to create vibrant, active and globally distinctive outlets that establish Dubai as the preferred place to work, live and visit,” he said.
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. The Retail District will offer additional lifestyle choices for the 2.5 billion plus people, especially high net worth individuals, who are only four hours flying distance from Dubai and regard the city as the must-visit destination for high-end retail.
“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. Delivering world-class choices for luxury retail, developing tech-driven approaches to engage the savvy youth and rolling out innovative retailing & leisure concepts will be central to our operational strategy.”
Emaar Malls has a gross leasable area of about 6 million sq ft. This is being expanded with the ongoing 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 Dh 1.656 billion ($451 million) while rental income was Dh2.992 billion ($815 million). Rental income recorded a growth of 11 per cent to Dh2.992 billion ($815 million), compared to Dh2.694 billion ($733 million) in FY2014.
Visitor arrivals across all Emaar Malls assets crossed 124 million in 2015, an increase of 9 per cent compared to 2014, with The Dubai Mall accounting for 80 million annual visitors, once again clinching the honour as the world’s most-visited shopping and leisure destination. Occupancy levels at the assets of Emaar Malls reached 96 per cent in 2015, while base rent renewal rates clocked an increase of 25 per cent for leases renewed during 2015.