lea aldarproperties
Focus on handovers will ensure funds flow in this year, according to Aldar. The Abu Dhabi developer has been proactive in offering relief to clients, on the residential and retail sides. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Aldar Properties has no plans to miss out on agreed dividend payments for 2019, while sticking to its schedule in channeling Dh4 billion to contractors and suppliers.

“We have already re-affirmed our commitment to shareholders by approving a dividend payment of Dh1.14 billion - this will reflect on the wider economy when the recovery period commences,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO, in a statement to ‘Gulf News’.

“Undoubtedly, the current circumstances have resulted in various challenges when it comes to transporting the workforce and certain materials from and to the sites. But we continue to work very closely with our supply chain to press ahead with our work.”

Many listed companies in the UAE had announced they would omit any dividend payments this year, after the COVID-19 imposed slowdown played havoc with operations and cashflow. Real estate companies are bracing for a tough first and second quarters, as sales dropped precipitously.

But there will be revisions

Aldar will, however, revise its sales forecasts for the year. The Abu Dhabi based developer reckons that upcoming handovers will ease some of the fund flows. “We are seeing good progress across our portfolio with handovers commencing and construction ongoing on several projects,” the CEO added.

The master-developer is marking progress on Yas Acres and The Bridges. Other key works include Reflection, a 374-apartment development that is at the 25 per cent stage. Construction has passed the half-way point at Water’s Edge at the heart of Yas Island, which consists of 13 mid-rise residential blocks.

Capex cuts, relief offers

Providing support for clients at its residential and retail assets remains the “priority of the day”. But Al Dhiyebi said the company was not currently looking at capital expenditure (capex) cuts.

“Our top priority for now is to continue working on our pipeline, while remaining open for assessing investment opportunities that are in line with our business strategy,” he said. “The initial impetus has not been on capex in this period… but providing stimulus.

“To support homeowners, we have partnered with leading Abu Dhabi financial institutions to offer subsidised financing solutions to existing and new customers to ease their upcoming/final payments. We have also provided tenants of over 5,000 units in the residential portfolio with monthly payment plans to support and help them with rental commitments until the end of 2020.”

Talal Al Dhiyebi
Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO, says support packages for Aldar's tenants and homeowners will be a constant. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
Aldar eases retailers' grief
With its retail tenants, Aldar has initiatives totalling Dh50 million in place, with the developer mainly focussing on small businesses and startups. Across portfolios, Aldar's stimulus programmes have crossed Dh100 million.

“We have already seen a significant stimulus package put in place by the government to support the local economy," said Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO. "Companies like Aldar have a critical role to play in supporting those efforts to ensure that we are ready to rebound from these times in a position of strength.”