Towers being built in Downtown Dubai. Image Credit: Cleofe Maceda/ Gulf News

Duba: UAE property developer Emaar will be distributing a huge payout to its shareholders, as investors continue to pour billions of dirhams into Dubai’s real estate sector.

The master developer of Burj Khalifa announced on Wednesday that it will be handing out Dh1.04 billion as special cash dividend to investors, marking a year of its listing on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The special payout is the first to be approved by the developer since its public listing in 2017.

Industry sources said that there has been an increase in the uptake of off-plan properties in Dubai, as local and international buyers continue to snap up homes under construction in the emirate.

During the first six months of the year, investors acquired properties worth a total of Dh111 billion across the city, according to the Dubai Land Department.

The three biggest buyers of the year so far are UAE nationals, Indians and Saudis, whose investments accounted for Dh6.8 billion, Dh5.9 billion and Dh3.7 billion, respectively.

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From January to June this year, Emaar managed to stash a net profit of Dh1.82 billion and a revenue of Dh6.99 billion.

During the same period, the developer offered up 3,600 residential units for sale and scooped up a total of Dh6.23 billion from buyers.

Its current total sales backlog stands at more than Dh38.5 billion, huge portion of which will be “recognised as revenue over the next three to four years.”

According to JLL’s latest report, the Dubai market has witnessed a major increase in off-plan residential sales over the past two years. Citing data from Dubai Land Department, the property expert said the value of off-plan sales has gone up by 17 per cent, from Dh12 billion in the first half of 2016 to Dh14 billion in the first half of 2018.

More new apartments and villas have entered the market recently. During the second quarter of 2018, approximately 7,000 residential units were completed.

Off-plan properties seem to be an attractive proposition for buyers these days and some tenants are now looking to invest.

“The attractive deals on offer from developers are now enticing some tenants to make the commitment to own,” JLL noted.

“While further declines in prices and rentals are expected over the remainder of 2018, the rate of economic growth is increasing, which should result in stronger demand across the residential sector in 2019 and beyond.”

However, while off-plan sales have increased, the trend looks different for existing properties, with the value of sales dipping from Dh98 billion in the first half of 2016 to Dh85 billion during the same period in 2018, JLL noted.