The long-term corporate credit rating on Emaar Properties PJSC, the global developer of ionic projects, has been upgraded by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services to ‘BBB-’ from ‘BB+’ with a stable outlook. The rating reflects the sound performance of Emaar’s shopping mall and hospitality assets, and the successful launch and presale of high-margin developments in Dubai.
The enhanced rating by Standard & Poor’s follows the recent upgrade by EFG Hermes of Emaar to ‘buy’ status from ‘neutral’ in addition to raising its fair value to AED 10.1 from AED 6.
Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “The upgraded rating by Standard & Poor’s reflects the strong financial fundamentals of the company, and the success of our business expansion into shopping malls & retail and hospitality & leisure, which contribute significantly to our recurring revenues.
“Led by the positive growth of Dubai, Emaar will continue to focus on our core competencies of developing prime real estate assets and strengthening our mall and hospitality businesses, to create long-term value for our stakeholders.
“The ambitious infrastructure development planned in preparation for hosting the Dubai Expo 2020 and the city’s Tourism Vision 2020 announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will serve as our strong growth drivers,” he added.
Standard & Poor’s has assessed Emaar’s status as a successful developer and property investment company. “Emaar has a high grade asset portfolio generating growing earnings and cash flow, an attractive land bank and a reputation for high quality development,” the report noted.
Underlining the strong performance of Emaar’s shopping mall & retail business, the company’s flagship development, The Dubai Mall welcomed over 75 million visitors in 2013, a 15 per cent growth in over 2012, with an average monthly footfall of 6.25 million. The mall’s 1,200 plus retail outlets recorded a 26 per cent rise in sales during 2013 compared to the previous year.
Recurring revenues from Emaar’s shopping malls & retail sector was AED 2.297 billion (US$ 625 million) during the first nine months of 2013, which was 22 per cent higher than the revenue of AED 1.882 billion (US$ 512 million) during the same period in 2012.
With three vibrant hotel brands in Dubai – The Address Hotels + Resorts, Armani Hotels & Resorts, and Vida Hotels and Resorts, Emaar’s hospitality business recorded an average occupancy level of over 82 per cent during the first nine months of 2013.
The hospitality & leisure business recorded revenues of AED 1.059 billion (US$ 288 million) during the first nine months of 2013, 9 per cent higher than the revenue of AED 973 million (US$ 265 million) during the same period in 2012. Further building its competencies in the hospitality sector, Emaar has announced a new hotel brand, Dubai Inn, focused on the affordable segment and to be developed as a joint venture with Meraas Holding.
Emaar marked the launch of several new major projects in Dubai during 2013 including The Address Residence The Fountain Views I, II and III; The Address Residence The Sky Views and Burj Vista in Downtown Dubai; The Hills and Vida Residence, The Hills in Emirates Living; and CASA, Palma, and Rosa villas in Arabian Ranches. Emaar also unveiled Mira townhouses in Reem, a modern desert oasis, and The Opera District, featuring the iconic Dubai Opera, a 2,000-seat multi-venue performing arts centre, in Downtown Dubai.