Dubai investment arm posts $ 5.1 billion loss due to pandemic
Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 3h12
Updated 13 minutes ago
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The State of Dubai sovereign wealth fund on Tuesday announced a net loss of $ 5.1 billion over the past year, highlighting the toll the coronavirus pandemic has caused to vast corporate assets and uncertainty around emirate post – pandemic recovery.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai, the huge holding company behind many of the emirate’s industrial powers, reported 2020 revenue of $ 37 billion, a sharp drop of more than 40% from the year previous.
This is the first loss in years for the investment arm of the Dubai government, which owns a range of assets including the Middle East’s largest airline, Emirates, the lucrative Dubai Duty Free and the master developer Emaar Properties, who built the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. The company made a profit of $ 4.9 billion in 2019.
In reporting the loss, the conglomerate cited the severe effects of the coronavirus on travel, hospitality, retail and real estate – all industries that power Dubai, with its cavernous malls and luxury hotels. With 40 significant holdings, the company is often seen as a barometer of the health of the city’s service economy.
Much of the profit generated last year came from the fund’s holdings in financial services such as Emirates NBD, among the UAE’s major banks, which it said remained strong amid the upheaval of the pandemic.
The Investment Corp. report came a week after long-haul carrier Emirates posted a staggering $ 5.5 billion loss in 2020 – its first in three decades as the travel industry faced a downturn like no other. The government of Dubai gave the struggling airline a $ 3.1 cash injection as its revenues fell 66% – a striking sign of how important Emirates Air is to futuristic city-state Dubai between Europe and Asia based on the promise of globalization. By comparison, in fiscal year 2015-16, Emirates made a profit of $ 1.9 billion, a record it has not repeated since.
In its statement, the ICD described the many headwinds of 2020, from ground flights to low oil prices. Although Dubai is not rich in oil like the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, its economy thrives on petrodollars.
Despite the challenges, Mohammed Al Shaibani, the company’s CEO, focused on hopes for a rebound in tourism and travel, fueled by the UAE’s vaccination campaign, which is among the fastest in the world.
“Our companies are now strongly positioned to seize the opportunities presented by global economic activities which are gaining momentum with the international deployment of the vaccine,” said Al Shaibani.