UDC's Porto Arabia development.
The World Bank attributed the projected increase in Qatar’s growth rate to spending on infrastructure-related projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the completion of a $10 billion new gas facility in 2020, and the adoption of new policies to further open up and diversify the economy.
In particular, the government is planning to allow full foreign ownership of companies across all sectors, having already introduced permanent residency reforms and visa waivers for citizens from over 80 countries.
These incentives, among several others, are luring foreign investors into Qatar’s various industries – particularly in the fields of sports, education, health, tourism and hospitality.
By 2023, Qatar expects to attract 5.6 million visitors annually, double the number that the country welcomed in 2016.
Qatar’s emerging tourism sector, a growing expat community and an attractive business environment are expected to further bolster demand for the real estate market, which delivered a solid performance in 2018.
This year has been another successful year for United Development Company (UDC), a leading Qatari public shareholding company and the master developer of The Pearl-Qatar and Gewan Islands.
Established in 1999, the company was listed on the Qatar Exchange in June 2003. UDC’s mission is to identify and invest in long-term projects contributing to the growth of The State of Qatar and providing good shareholder value.
From day one, the company actively contributed to the development of The State of Qatar, rapidly evolving into a leading Qatari Public Shareholding Company and has successfully established a group of various good performing investments.
Through a combination of project activities and commercial enterprise, UDC and its subsidiaries have accumulated a large amount of specific experience including detailed knowledge of real-estate development, property management, hospitality and maritime, infrastructure and utilities.
As part of its five-year business plan (2019-2023), UDC is leveraging its leading market position to achieve sustainable financial performance and maintain profitability targets by focusing on the core business activities and investing in new and viable real estate developments.
The volume of residential properties rented during the first nine months of 2018 increased by 22% compared to the same period of 2017, while the volume of retail areas under lease increased by 6%.
These increases indicate that The Pearl-Qatar, which recently won the 2018-2019 “Best Mixed-use Development” award at the Arabian Property Awards, is becoming a favored destination for residential and retail tenants in Qatar to live and operate a business.
The strong demand for properties across The Pearl-Qatar reflected positively on UDC’s financial results for the nine months ending 30 September 2018. The company reported net profit of QR 416 million on revenues of QR 1.29 billion, while the net profit attributable to equity shareholders stood at QR 385 million, with basic earnings per share of QR 1.09.
Amid these strong results, UDC moved forward with three major developments, namely Gewan Island, Giardino Village and Al Mutahidah Towers.
In the second half of 2018, UDC completed the construction of Al Mutahidah Towers’ connecting bridge, the most complicated section of the structure, and a unique feature among towers at The Pearl-Qatar. The completion of the connecting bridge, which joins the two towers from the 12th till the 24th floor, was followed by the launch of the third sale phase of residential units at Al Mutahidah Towers, and the second stage of property sales at Giardino Village, one of the most luxurious and promising residential areas on the Island. This was followed by the inauguration of development works at Gewan Island, another major project by UDC.
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