DAMAC is globally recognised as a market leader for its innovative property offerings, its award-winning architectural designs and its commitment to delivering luxury living experiences across more than 100 million square feet of master communities.
2017 and the first half of 2018 have been exceptional for DAMAC Properties – exceptional in terms of the Company’s presence, appeal and recognition as a market leader, as well as for its achievements and milestones.
In May last year, DAMAC shares were listed on the Morgan Stanley Capital International Index for the UAE, one of only 10 companies on this index, which demonstrates the significance of DAMAC’s share value in reference to how the UAE’s economic health is measured.
Soon afterwards, DAMAC received further global recognition by ranking first on the Forbes Global 2000 List of Growth Champions for 2017, for its growth achieved between 2013 and 2016. I believe DAMAC was the first UAE Company to reach this spot.
By the summer, DAMAC announced a AED 3.675 billion (USD 1 billion) joint venture project with the Government of Oman to transform Port Sultan Qaboos into an integrated, lifestyle destination that will attract investment, create jobs and increase commercial activity around the historical Muttrah area.
In October, DAMAC teamed up with the Dubai Future Foundation to jointly launch the ‘One Million Arab Coders’ initiative, and leading to the creation of the Hussain Sajwani-DAMAC Foundation to serve the needs of this historical effort to teach software development to one million Arabs over the next two years. A first-of-its-kind pan-Arab education initiative, the One Million Arab Coders Initiative, is our first philanthropic effort to support His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for the creation of an empowered, happier society through learning and skills development.
Throughout the past 18 months, we have enjoyed continued interest in our flagship development projects such as DAMAC Hills, AKOYA and AYKON City.
Our first master community, DAMAC Hills, has become home to nearly 3,000 residents, and who are enjoying the vast expanses of lush landscaping throughout the community. At the heart of DAMAC Hills, the prestigious Trump International Golf Club Dubai opened its doors in February 2017, and is already globally recognised for its world-class championship-standard course. We continue the delivery of units at DAMAC Hills as more families move in, and feed life into this new, vibrant community.
Our 55-million-square-foot master community, AKOYA, and our six-tower flagship development in the heart of Dubai, AYKON City, continue to enjoy increasing sales from regional and international investors. Interest remains particularly high for our luxury branded ‘Just Cavalli Villas’ at AKOYA. We have also stepped up construction at AKOYA, to accelerate development as we aim to make our first deliveries by year’s end. Since its inception, DAMAC has awarded over AED 5.6 billion (USD 1.5 billion) construction contracts to ensure this will happen.
Our crowning moment came near the end of 2017, one that I am personally honoured to share here, when DAMAC Properties become one of a handful of developers to have delivered 20,000 residential units. This is a milestone that I could not have imagined when I set up the Company in 2002. It reflects the growing recognition of the region, and particularly the UAE, as a world-class location for property investment.
As we enter the second half of 2018, we continue to develop new property concepts that meet the needs of today’s value-driven buyers, whether investors or homeowners, as the UAE continues to attract talent and investment from around the world.
I express my gratitude to the UAE’s visionary leaders who continue to transform the country into one of the most vibrant, happiest and safest places on earth, and DAMAC continues to give all its support to their vision by helping to shape Dubai’s skyline and landscape. I also thank the various government authorities, regulators, our shareholders, employees, partners, contractors, suppliers and our customers for their continued support and trust in DAMAC.