Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, revealed that the rental reductions for retailers working in the company’s shopping centers will continue as long as the industry takes to recover.
Speaking at the AI Everything conference at the Dubai World Trade Center, Alabbar admitted that the relief measures had caused a “major blow” to the company’s cash flow.
These include exemptions granted on the basis of rent, service fees, annual marketing fees, and a flat 70% discount on chilled water fees limited to the lockdown period.
Alabbar also said that they are working with retailers now and they will only take a percentage of their rent, as the market improves.
He also announced that running a good and successful mall needs a corporate between the owner and the retailers and the percentages to work. And when life’s going back, rent will go back to that level anyway.
Alabbar revealed that the company’s flagship Dubai Mall welcomes about 100,000 visitors daily, as the emirate is gradually recovering from closings imposed on Covid-19 – the previous COVID number was in the region of a quarter of a million visitors per day.
While the economic impact was felt across the board, Alabbar said Emaar had “become lucky” by planning a possible market downturn about 18 months ago.
Regarding other areas of business, Alabbar revealed that real estate sector receipts are also rising, from shares sold over the past three years. They have accumulated about 50 billion dirhams.