Dubai's state-backed developer Emaar said on Monday it sold an 80% share of its district cooling project around the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, for $675 million as the city-state's property market suffers from the new coronavirus pandemic.
With the sale, Tabreed, also known as the National Central Cooling Co., assumes majority ownership of a system of chilled water cooling plants that cool the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera, and Dubai Mall during summer months that see temperatures rise above 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
Emaar posted net profits of $1.68 billion for 2019, but revenue slightly dipped and the developer said it wouldn't pay a dividend to shareholders.
That comes as property values, a major economic engine of Dubai, have dropped by a third since 2014. Even before the pandemic, Dubai's ruler created a commission seeking to slow the sheikhdom's construction projects out of concern of flooding the market.
According to Reuters, Emaar Properties has suspended work on major projects in Dubai due to the pandemic.
In the latest knock to the economy, the global virus outbreak prompted Dubai to propose a one-year delay to Expo, a major event it was due to host from October.
Emaar has suspended projects at Dubai Creek Harbour, a new development touted as offering homes to 200,000 people, sources told Reuters.
That included suspending work on the Dubai Creek Harbour Tower, billed as being higher than Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which is now the world's tallest building, they said.
Emaar had said last month said it had suspended work on a luxury residential tower in a prime Dubai district and had temporarily closed several hotels due to the impact of the virus on tourism.
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