United Development Company (UDC), a leading Qatari public shareholding company and the master developer of The Pearl and Gewan Islands, held its ordinary and extraordinary electronic general assembly meetings on Wednesday. They were chaired by UDC Chairman Turki bin Mohammed Al Khater.
During the ordinary meeting, the assembly approved the distribution of cash dividends of QR194,747 million, equivalent to 5.5 percent of share par value, as well as UDC’s financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2021 along with the appointment of “Ernst & Young” as the Company’s external auditor for 2022.
With regards to UDC’s new Board of Directors, three seats were allocated to the General Retirement & Social Insurance Authority and the Assembly further elected new Board Members — Ali Hussein Alfardan, Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al Thani, Ibrahim Jassim Al Othman, Abdullaziz Mohammed Al Mana, Abdulrahman Saad Al Shathri and Hassan Abdulla Al Hammadi — for the next three-year term (2022 to 2024).
The extraordinary general assembly meeting approved the proposed amendment of the Company’s Articles of Association to comply with Company Law Amendments mentioned in Law No 8 for the year 2021.
Presenting UDC’s 2021 financial results, Turki bin Mohammed Al Khater said: “The company has achieved a net profit of QR356 million and total revenues of QR2 billion. The net profit attributable to equity shareholders stood at QR326 million with basic earnings per share of QR0.092.
“Our unwavering commitment to project delivery and future project developments has underlined our sustainable financial results for 2021. In line with our business plan to create new opportunities and revenue sources over the long term, UDC increased its ownership in Qatar Cool to 91.06% which enhances our investment portfolio, in addition to our ongoing development activities at The Pearl and Gewan Islands which cover vital residential and commercial projects.
“These developments deliver not just premium residential properties — but also malls, hospitality and entertainment experiences as well as public services and facilities — to further complement our assets and create integrated communities that attract a growing number of investors, residents and visitors and spearhead UDC’s growth year on year.
“Thus, the proposed dividends for the year 2021 are in line with value of the real-estate projects that the company is developing and cash out flow that will be spent on these projects during the year 2022 in accordance with the UDC’s five-year business plan.”
Ibrahim Jassim Al-Othman, UDC President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “2021 marked another successful year where we completed outstanding new projects at The Pearl Island, most notably The Pearl Commercial Showrooms, Al Mutahidah Towers and Giardino Gardens Compound, and made significant progress on the development of Gewan Island, as well as introduced vital new services and facilities to our community. These achievements therefore will serve as our stepping stones to a ‘landmark’ 2022.
“In 2021, residential occupancy at The Pearl Island reached an all-time high with 52,000 residents and 34 million visitors. This stability in occupancy rates has therefore contributed to achieving recurring revenues from residential and retail leasing, in addition to the sale of residential units and plots in 2021.”
Al Othman indicated that retail leasing witnessed an increase of 58% in new leased retail space in 2021 compared to 2020 and the opening of 53 new retail brands at The Pearl Island, a 90% increase from 2020. In Gewan Island, UDC launched retail properties for lease and succeeded in leasing 3,000 sqm covering 19 brands.
Residential occupancy further thrived with 316 new rental contracts signed for UDC properties including 37 villas in the new Giardino Gardens Compound. A lease contract was also signed with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for 318 residential units to be used in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
UDC further succeeded in achieving returns from the sale of residential properties including 110 units in Al Mutahidah Towers at The Pearl Island as well as 14 villa plots and 36 apartments in Crystal Residence at Gewan Island.
Al Othman pointed out that UDC is committed to its strategy of creating more investment opportunities, building on its achievements, and reducing risks by taking advantage of the commercial and investment opportunities offered by The Pearl and Gewan Islands.
In this context, UDC achieved major strides in the development of Gewan Island in 2021, reaching an overall 52%, with the completion of marine works as well as all Gewan Bridge construction works. Substantial progress of 61% was also made on Crystal Residence buildings, simultaneously with the achievement of enabling works related to Corinthia Gewan Island Qatar Hotel and Beach Club and construction commencement of private villas.
UDC has also accelerated development works all over The Pearl Island, and as such Al Mutahidah Towers have been fully completed and handed over to owners and residents.
In the past year, UDC has equally made remarkable progress in developing Giardino Gardens, as The Pearl Island’s first gated villa compound, with the completion of 60 out of 80 villas and is also on schedule with the development of its three Floresta Garden compounds comprising 115 villas, where construction works are being completed.
On the commercial side, The Pearl Commercial Showrooms, Giardino Mall and Floresta Galleria are now completed and handed over to their respective tenants. Concurrently, United School International has reached the final phase prior to being handed over to its operator, while construction works of Corinthia Yacht Club have commenced.
Additionally, in 2021, UDC has announced the signing of a shareholder agreement with Ruzgar Healthcare Holding to establish and operate The Pearl International Hospital in Medina Centrale which will span 12,000 sqm and host all medical specialties with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, superior medical services, and skilled professionals to provide clinical excellence and patient-centered care. The prestigious general hospital is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will contribute to UDC’s aim of making The Pearl Island an all-inclusive development.
Highlighting the Company’s plans and prospects for 2022, Othman said: “The fundamental development phases achieved in 2021 through diligent and disciplined execution, will enable UDC to pursue its growth journey in 2022, and achieve excellence in project delivery.”
UDC is a leading Qatari public shareholding company with a mission to identify and invest in long-term projects contributing to Qatar’s growth and providing good shareholder value. Established in 1999, the Company was first listed on the Qatar Exchange in June of 2003. It has an authorized share capital of QR 3.5 billion and total assets of QR 20 billion as at 31 December 2021.
UDC activities cover a multitude of vital investment sectors including real estate development, property management, infrastructure and utilities, maritime & hospitality related businesses.