Pandemic has eaten into Emaar sales and profit. But the mall owner confirms rent relief policy will remain in place until year-end. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The pandemic and the shutdowns forced by the virus eroded Emaar Malls' first nine-month 2020 profits, which totalled Dh586 million against Dh1.73 billion a year ago.

The mall owner added that with footfalls improving in recent weeks and in time for the holiday season, the "outlook for the remainder of the year remains positive". “Emaar Malls continues to show incredible strength and resilience during the pandemic, despite the challenging year for everyone in the retail industry," said Mohammed Alabbar of Emaar Properties.

Revenues for the nine months came to Dh2.49 billion, against Dh3.14 billion.

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"We remain optimistic about the immediate future of the retail industry in Dubai during the remainder of 2020 and look forward to seeing tourists and visitors slowly return to the high numbers we're accustomed to," Alabbar added. "In the long-term, we are confident that 2021 will see us grow our business once again.

“We have worked with retailers to make sure the shopping experience is safe and enjoyable, which includes abiding by the measures set out by the Dubai Government. The result is that we see visitors returning to the malls in higher numbers. We have also extended our Rent Relief Policy for all our tenants until the end of the year."