Dubai: Both revenues and profits were higher at Emaar Malls, with net profit weighing in at Dh2.23 billion — a 7 per cent gain.

Revenues totalled Dh4.44 billion, reflecting a 23 per cent increase.

Overall, malls and community centres had 136 million visitors in 2018, a gain of 5 per cent over 2017.

The Dubai Mall accounted for 83 million of these visitors, and saw a gain of 4 per cent. It had 150 new outlets as part of the Fashion Avenue expansion. The development took the mall’s total to 1,350 retailers and 170 plus F&B options.

Robust occupancy levels played their part in Emaar Malls’ numbers.

The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Souk Al Bahar and Gold & Diamond Park recorded 93 per cent occupancy.

The developer’s current portfolio stands at 6.7 million square feet (625,000 sqm).

“The performance of Emaar Malls in 2018 gained from the strong economic fundamentals of Dubai and the successful opening of the Fashion Avenue extension [at The Dubai Mall],” said Mohammad Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, in a statement.

“The malls and retail sector continues to be highly competitive.”

On the cost side, Emaar Malls totalled Dh1.08 billion, up a sizeable 73 per cent over 2017.

The next big launch would be the Dubai Hills Mall in Dubai Hills Estate, which has a planned opening in the first quarter of 2020. Redevelopment of the Meadows Village, expected to increase its leasable area by around 7,000 square metres, is progressing for scheduled completion later this year.

Outside of malls, the company generated Dh849 million from its majority stake in Namshi, the fashion e-tailer. This was a gain of 16 per cent.

Fourth quarter profit gains head into double digits

For the peak fourth quarter, Emaar Malls reported a 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter profit gain, totalling Dh591 million as against the Dh537 million in in the third quarter of 2018. Revenue during the fourth quarter was Dh1.21 billion, an increase of 8 per cent over Q3-18.