Emaar Properties PJSC seemed to rise out of nowhere, much like the Burj Dubai—the superskyscraper it is building in the desert city on the Persian Gulf peninsula it calls home. The developer is only 10 years young, yet it reports an international project portfolio of more than $65 billon, which it says does not include the company’s largest-ever international project in Libya, near Tripoli.
The company has six business segments and more than 60 active companies operating in 36 markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Pan-Asia, Europe and North America. Of its 600 employees, 100 are outside Dubai.
Dubai’s Emaar Properties reports an international project portfolio of more than $65 billion.
Emaar International was started in 2004. Recently, Emaar signed a memo of understanding with the Shanghai China-News Development Ltd., a government entity, to development projects and infrastructure in China. In the U.S., Emaar acquired John Laing Homes, which is the second-largest private homebuilder in the U.S. Two years ago, Emaar and the Dallas-based Turner Corp., the parent of Turner International and the Burj Dubai’s project manager, formed Turner International Middle East Ltd., to pursue projects in the Persian Gulf. Emaar will say only that it has “substantial” equity in the company. Emaar’s chairman, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, also chairs the joint venture.
The list goes on. Emaar and Giorgio Armani S.p.A. are planning to build and manage 10 hotels and resorts around the world, including the one in the Burj Dubai.
Emaar is a public company. The Dubai government owns 32%. It also holds equity in Dubai Bank and three other lenders in the United Arab Emirates.
Emaar announced record revenue of $4.78 billion and net profits of $1.79 billion in 2007. The numbers represent a 25% increase in annual revenue and a 3% increase in net profits, says Emaar.
Modesty is not one of the characteristics of Emaar’s corporate culture. It describes itself as “en route to becoming one of the most valuable companies in the world by 2010.” It continues: “Emaar has highlighted the remarkable growth of the company by debuting on the 2007 Financial Times Global 500 ranking.”
In Dubai, the developer completed 15,713 homes in seven years. “Our innovative offering of self-contained, amenities-rich communities created lifestyle options that were the first choice for many Dubai residents,” it brags.
At the Burj Dubai, where residences sold out in a matter of days, excess isn’t enough. The tower will contain some 600 luxury condominiums, including two spas and meeting facilities, 200 hotel rooms, 350 hotel-serviced condominiums, 50,000 sq m of luxury office space, a grand spa and health club, seven restaurants, the world’s highest public observatory and 3,000 parking spaces. If residents get bored, they can “run” across the street to the 4-million-sq-ft mall, also touted as the world’s largest, which is part of Emaar’s $20-billion Burj Dubai Downtown. Condo owners can even start shopping before they move in. Unlike the tower, which opens next spring, the mall is scheduled to open in August.