Ninety million shoppers have flocked through the doors of Emaar Malls’ retail empire so far this year – equating to 1 million more visitors a month each month compared with 2014.
According to Emaar Malls Group, which owns Dubai’s largest shopping centre, The Dubai Mall, visitor numbers for the first nine months of 2015 have grown 11 per cent compared with 81 million from last year.
The seemingly relentless growth in visitor numbers helped Emaar Malls report a Dh376 million profit for the three months to the end of September – a hike of 17 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, the company said in its third-quarter results published yesterday.
At the same time revenues grew to Dh728m, up 12 per cent compared with the same period in 2014.
The company, which is majority owned by Emaar Properties, said tenant sales across all Emaar Malls assets – The Dubai Mall, Souq Al Bahar, Dubai Marina Mall, and Gold & Diamond Park – grew to Dh13.5 billion during the first nine months of the year.
Emaar Malls estimated that annualised tenant sales per square foot stood at Dh4,216 – about the same amount as last year.
The company said that its occupancy rate during first nine months stood at 96 per cent and that it had been pushing up base rents 29 per cent for leases renewed during the period.
Net profit for the nine-month period stood at Dh1.22bn – up 30 per cent compared with a year earlier, while revenues came in at Dh2.19bn – 15 per cent higher than last year.
“The positive and sustained growth of Emaar Malls during the first nine months of this year underlines the success of our strategy to position our retail assets as family-oriented destinations,” said Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Malls Group.
However, analysts warn that Dubai’s retail market is starting to slow down as the strong US dollar and a dip in the number of high-spending Russian visitors take their toll just as a glut of new space hits the market.
According to JLL, some 403,000 square metres of new mall space is set to be completed next year, prompting retail rents in the city to start to fall.
“We expect average retail rents to drop over the 12 months as the market moves through its cyclical peak,” said Craig Plumb, the head of research at JLL’s Dubai office.
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