Addressing the 250 attendees, Amiri explained that Emaar was replicating its UAE ‘lifestyle community’ development model internationally.
‘Building a base of strong financial fundamentals alongside strategic expansion is crucial to enable property developers to evolve into global brands,’ he said.
Emaar currently has a presence in 36 markets globally, spanning every continent bar South America, although at the company’s accelerate rate of growth that can only be a matter of time.
Emaar’s operations across India already make it the country’s largest provider of real estate Foreign Direct Investment ever (totalling over $500m for projects with a capital outlay of $4bn).
In Canada the group is planning further projects in Calgary and Toronto, while Saudi Arabia’s Emaar Economic City is one of the largest development projects currently underway in the kingdom.
Diversification key to Emaar’s growth
According to the group’s strategic plan, thanks to geographical diversification projects, around 70% of the total annual revenue will come from its international operations by 2010.
The figures involved are likely to be enormous, even for investors used to the high-digit developments regularly unveiled in Dubai. The company’s total annual revenues for 2007 exceeded Dhs17bn ($4.7bn), double the 2005 figures.
Project’s in the pipeline are currently valued by Emaar at over $100bn.
Amiri explained how, through the six business segments (which cover a total of 60 active companies globally), Emaar was making use of business partnerships to expand the brand.
‘Our focus in the Middle East in recent years has been in establishing regional partnerships to share competencies and best practices,’ he said, highlighting the recent joint venture project with developer Bawadi in Dubailand.
‘Master developers have a key role to play in supporting economic diversification,’ Amiri continued. ‘Not only does it complement the developer’s vision of providing integrated lifestyle communities, it also adds to new revenue sources while building strong economic platforms that benefit the entire economy. Emaar’s expansion reflects this growth philosophy.
Each of the segments, encompassing retail, hospitality, healthcare, hotels and resorts, and education, is also set to continue its organic expansion. By 2012 Emaar Malls will have an international presence outside of the UAE.
In answer to questions on how the global credit crunch had affected investor confidence in the regional property market Amiri remained optimistic: ‘The global credit crunch has been going for more than six months now, and we still haven’t seen any effect of that here. In fact, business has been going even more strongly, the money for developments and projects is still coming in. The market in Dubai especially is very robust and we predict that it will stay that way.’