Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, founder and chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, which is considered one of the largest family businesses in the region, announced that results in the first quarter of 2021 were better than expected thanks to the recovery in the United Arab Emirates after the outbreak of the “Covid 19” pandemic.
Al Habtoor said that the Al Habtoor Group took measures early in the year 2020 to be able to withstand the repercussions of the pandemic, which continues to affect large parts of the world, including industrialized countries. He pointed out that “the Covid 19 pandemic that is sweeping the world surprised everyone, and different countries were not prepared for it, let alone companies and individuals. Work has stopped in a large number of sectors around the world or faced a complete collapse, especially the tourism and travel sector.”
He added: “Some major countries in the world have failed to deal with the virus and address its effects. A large number of countries are still struggling to control the pandemic, by imposing closures after the other, with the grave repercussions that this has on commercial operations and economic recovery.” .
Al Habtoor praised the approach taken by the UAE government in dealing with the crisis, saying: “The United Arab Emirates has been a model to be followed from the beginning. We have proven our excellence in crisis management. The protection of our citizens is a priority. Demonstrated by the community to support these measures. ”
Speaking about the diverse business areas in which his group is involved, Al Habtoor noted that Dubai’s real estate sector achieved strong sales growth of 17 percent in January 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. We have seen strong growth in the real estate sector, with an increase of over 300 percent in sales volumes compared to the same period last year. What drives this growth is investor confidence in the Dubai real estate market, and the high quality of the product offered. A large number of buyers in the Middle East, parts of Europe and the United States see that the UAE, especially Dubai, provides a safe and stable environment for everyone who lives on its land.
Al Habtoor also praised the Ministry of Health and Community Protection for its initiative to rapidly distribute the anti-Covid 19 vaccine, saying: “The UAE provides more than 120,000 doses of the vaccine per day. To date, more than 8 million people in the country have been vaccinated, and are moving towards “The UAE has made steady steps towards becoming the first country in the world to finish vaccinating all of its residents. This is one of the reasons behind the boom in some sectors, such as real estate and hospitality.
The UAE was recently ranked the “Most Popular Tourist Destination for 2021” in a study by global travel company “Cooney” which revealed that the UAE is the most searched destination for 2021 in 11 countries.
Al Habtoor said that the hospitality sector in the UAE has managed to withstand the impact of the pandemic and restore a healthy level of business, noting that his hotels have recorded a steady increase in occupancy rates, adding: “Our resilience and our ability to adapt to market needs have played a fundamental role in our success.”
He pointed out that the “surge” in the number of hotel leaders contributed to the recovery of occupancy rates in Dubai, which reached 71 percent during the month of December, the highest level since February 2020; And it ranged between 50 and 70 percent during the past three months across the Emirates. Al Habtoor added, “It is true that people do not come from countries subject to lockdown, but we receive guests from countries where travel is still permitted, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern Europe and the United States.”
Al Habtoor acknowledged that it was difficult to see hotels closing their doors at the beginning of the “Covid 19” crisis, while their lobbies looked like ghost towns, commenting: “I am happy that hotels are back to life again, and that the hospitality sector in Dubai is moving at a steady pace towards recovery.” He said he expects results in 2021 to outperform those achieved in 2019. He praised the creativity of Habtoor Hospitality’s teams, which “reinvented” the sales approach and looked for offers and opportunities to revitalize the market again, adding: “I have achieved some Our hotels are already 20 percent more growing compared to the same period last year. ”
Al Habtoor pointed out that the success of the UAE is due to its excellent performance in crisis management, the transparency of the authorities, as well as the cooperation between the private and public sectors. He commented, “It was a collaborative effort. We were prepared for the worst, and we have worked to adapt and devise methods in order to bypass the extremely difficult circumstances that we have endured. We succeeded in meeting the challenges of the past year. ”
Al Habtoor added that other sectors in the group are doing well. Diamondlease increased its fleet size by 24 percent to reach more than 10,000 vehicles from March 2020 to March 2021, with a utilization rate of 90 percent. He also pointed to the strong results achieved by Al Habtoor Motors, which are consistent with pre-pandemic figures, and the increased demand for enrollment in the Emirates International School in its two branches.
He concluded by saying: “My faith is stronger than ever before, that Dubai is a safe haven for investors and business. I am proud to raise the flag of my country, Al Mabrouka, the Emirates.”
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