Dubai: Dubai Investments is issuing a 12 per cent cash dividend (totalling Dh485.9 million) following shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting on Wednesday evening. The company, which is now expanding its operations into Saudi Arabia, had reported net profits of Dh1.2 billion for 2015.

For its Saudi venture, the company will shortly be buying units in a Dh170 million fund set up to own the land for the project. This is because Dubai Investments cannot directly own land in the kingdom, said Khalid Bin Kalban, managing director and chief executive officer. It will bring in project managers to develop the first phase of the development, which could cost Dh400 million to Dh500 million. The move into Saudi Arabia to create industrial parks should open up a sizeable new revenue stream for the company in the midterm.

Meanwhile, Dubai Investments will push full steam ahead with an expansion of its interests in health care and education, part of a major diversification move that could see its asset base swell to Dh20 billion in the next three to five years.

“Investments in new sectors will be pan-UAE … only at a much later stage will we even consider taking interests in education or health care outside of this market,” said Bin Kalban. Asset management will also be a strategic focus.

It was last year Dubai Investments made its foray into health care and education through investments in Austria-based Modul University’s first campus in Dubai and in London’s King’s College Hospital, with plans to open the multi-speciality King’s College Hospital Dubai in 2018.

Dubai Investments’ assets base was Dh15.3 billion as of end 2015.

“Although the beginning of 2016 was challenging, conditions are improving gradually and we hope that there will be a progressive market improvement during the year,” the Chairman’s Report says. “We plan to continue our commitment to diversify into new sectors, enhance our geographical footprint and continue to target new opportunities with a focus on increasing asset base, strengthening bottom-line and improving operational efficiency.”

Just recently, Dubai Investments paid Dh98 million for an additional 20 per cent stake in Properties Investments, the operating company that owns built and owns Green Community. That took Dubai Investments’ stake to 70 per cent and the remaining with Union Properties.

It also raised its stake in Al Mujama Real Estate LLC to owning 100 per cent of the company. Property remains Dubai Investments’ main operating segment by accounting for around 58 per cent of its total assets.