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A Cornerstone of Qatar’s Diversification

Article - September 27, 2011
United Development Company (UDC) is Qatar’s prime example of successful diversification, with influence in a variety of industries
United Development Company (UDC) is a public shareholding company listed in the Qatar Stock Exchange, a strategic partner to NYSE Euronext. The company’s mission is to identify and invest in long term projects, contributing to Qatar’s growth and providing good shareholder value.

UDC’s target areas of interest include: infrastructure, energy-intensive industries, hydrocarbon, downstream manufacturing, real estate, maritime and environment related businesses, urban development and utilities, hospitality, retail and fashion, IT, media and communications, insurance, and other services.

From day one the company’s mission has been to become a cornerstone in the developments of Qatar and the region, creating lasting values and maximizing returns for its partners and shareholders.

Since 1999 UDC has moved from researching for projects into development, productions and operations. Project research has led to the creation of companies considered to be among the most successful in the related fields.

UDC’s flagship project, The Pearl-Qatar, is a 247-acre man-made island and urban development project that is rapidly becoming one of the best addresses in the Middle East.

“The Pearl-Qatar embodies very well the reforms and vision set by His Highness The Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, to make Qatar a destination of choice for business, tourism, sports, education, and healthcare” explains Khalil P. Sholy, managing director and president of UDC.

From this venture, a number of subsidiaries have been formed and now operate in Qatar and abroad: MEDCO (Middle East Dredging Company), United Ready Mix (for cement), Pragmatech (for IT services and software engineering), Qatar Cool (district cooling), Ronautica Middle East, Hospitality Development Company (HDC), and United Fashion Company.

UDC has been able to successfully continue the upward trend of past years. Earnings per share and net profits both grew 18%, with profits up to QR597 million versus QR505.4 million in 2009. UDC continues to grow liquidity, enjoy low leverage, an increase its high-quality asset base, and above all, its commitment to transparency and good governance, thereby allowing the company to maximize shareholder value.

In the words of Khalil Sholy, “If you are looking to partner with business leaders in a solid, robust and fast growing economy there is no other place that beats Qatar. At UDC, we remain committed to providing shareholders with steady, measurable and consistent growth, mindful of national growth forecasted at 20% for 2011.”