DUBAI (Reuters) – Emaar Properties <EMAR.DU>, the largest listed developer in the United Arab Emirates, has suspended work on major projects in Dubai, sources familiar with the matter said, as the coronavirus pandemic exacerbates a real estate slowdown in the business hub.
Dubai’s property market has struggled in the past decade due to fallout from the global financial crisis and weak oil prices that left the emirate oversupplied with homes and offices.
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, four the sources said.
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, which built Burj Khalifa, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
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.
In a letter seen by Reuters and confirmed by a source, Emaar said Chairman Mohamed Alabbar had forfeited his salary and other staff would have had their salaries cut by as much as 50%.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair)