Dubai investment firm returns to profit as economy rebounds

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Dubai’s main state-owned investment firm swung to a full-year profit in 2021, rebounding from a pandemic-induced $5.15 billion loss.

Investment Corp. of Dubai posted a profit AED 5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) after a loss of AED 18.9 billion a year earlier, according to a statement. Revenue climbed about 25 percent to AED169 billion.

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“Our portfolio companies reaped the benefits of the steps taken earlier during the pandemic to protect their businesses, adapt their models, and enhance cost-effectiveness,” Managing Director Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaibani said in a statement.

The firm owns Emirates Group, which reported a smaller annual loss and predicted a return to profit this year, tapping a recovery in travel demand.

Business activity in Dubai rebounded sharply last year alongside a jump in tourism, helped by Expo 2020 - one of the biggest in-person events since the pandemic started. The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, had one of the world’s fastest vaccination rollouts.

“Whilst good progress was made during the earlier part of the year despite the virus variant disruptions, the second part of the year saw a much stronger recovery helped by the easing of global travel restrictions and the positive impact of the hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai,” al-Shaibani said.

Investment Corp. of Dubai also has holdings in lenders including Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank as well as real-estate developer Emaar Properties PJSC - all of which reported higher profit last year.

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