Dubai: Contractors, retail operators, theme parks and financial-services companies are among those that exemplify some of the pillars of Dubai’s economy. But they’re also the biggest losers in its stock market this year.

Shares of Drake & Scull International PJSC, Marka PJSC, DXB Entertainments PJSC and Amlak Finance lost at least 47 per cent so far in 2018, more than twice the average of the main local stock index, which is headed for its worst performance in a decade.

The variety of sectors in the group of laggards indicates that the concerns aren’t necessarily tied to one specific industry. A slowdown in activity in the oil-rich region, an oversupply in Dubai’s residential real estate market and the surging cost of living and doing business are some of the factors crippling hopes that a recovery is on the way.

Drake & Scull

The contracting firm that was involved in iconic projects such as the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi has stacked up losses in the past three years, and is going through a restructuring as the drop in oil prices forces property developers to defer payments and delay projects. Trading was suspended earlier this month pending approval of an overhaul plan.


The retail and dining operator has posted consecutive quarterly losses since 2014, the year of its initial public offering. Last month, it announced seeking a strategic partner as it asks shareholders to approve a capital reduction to extinguish accumulated losses of Dh450 million ($123 million). That should be followed by a capital increase. The shares have been suspended since April.

DXB Entertainments

The owner of Legoland and a Bollywood-inspired theme park posted its 20th consecutive quarterly loss as of September end. The company, which is currently constructing a Six Flags attraction in Dubai, is targeting higher footfall from international tourists after the number of visitors fell short of projections last year.

Amlak Finance

The Sharia-compliant financial services company specialises in real estate financing. Revenue fell 13 per cent in the nine months to September-end, mainly due to the revaluation of investment properties amid a “softening real estate market,” it said in a statement.