Dubai's DAMAC chairman urges patience as 2020 losses hit $297mln

Hussain Sajwani says substantial recovery could be as far away as 2023

Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties.

Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties.

QUILL MENA/handout via Zawya

The chairman of Dubai-based developer DAMAC Properties has urged patience, with the property market still reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company had posted a net loss of AED 1.093 billion ($297.62 million) for the full year 2020.

“2020 was a very tough year for all the property developers in the UAE and DAMAC felt the negative impact just the same,” Hussain Sajwani said in a statement Sunday to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), on which the company’s shares trade.

Video: Dubai’s DAMAC chairman urges patience as losses hit $297 million

The real estate tycoon noted that with COVID-19 still prevailing across the world, tourism has dramatically fallen, which has been a critical force that drives Dubai’s economy and boosts its property market.

“However, I anticipate it will take at least 12 to 24 months to see a substantial recovery. We must remain patient and adopt smart and innovative solutions going forward,” he said.

The developer previously collaborated on the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai with the Trump Organisation, owned by former US President Donald Trump.

2020 performance

Last year, DAMAC delivered an estimated 2,945 property units, down from 4,700 in 2019.  Total net loss hit 1.093 billion, compared with 37 million in 2019, the first annual loss since 2010.

A statement within the 2020 financial report noted that “the lasting effects of COVID-19” has “understandably impacted” the company’s profit margin.

“With global lockdowns, travel restrictions and the dip in global travel, Dubai’s property market has been adversely affected.”

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Cleofe Maceda)

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