A Dubai startup is actually trying to reinvent laundry

The property developer behind the planet’s tallest tower has come back down to earth that has a bump.

Shares in Emaar Development, which built Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, have fallen nearly 5% since they began trading on Wednesday, hit by nervousness among investors over regional instability as well as its impact on real estate markets.

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Dubai’s biggest IPO in years raised $1.3 billion when the shares were priced on Nov. 2.

Then came the news of a surprise anti-corruption sweep in neighboring Saudi Arabia in which included the arrests of dozens of princes, officials as well as high-profile businessmen, including global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The Dubai stock market — the most active within the Gulf region after Saudi Arabia — posted losses for four straight days following the arrests as well as has fallen about 5% since the start of November.

Investors have also been shaken by rising tension between Saudi Arabia as well as Iran. Saudi officials described a failed missile attack on Riyadh airport by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen on Nov. 4 as an act of war by Tehran.

Related: Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton: Luxury hotel or detention center for Saudi royals?

“Although the fundamentals of the company remain solid, the regional geopolitical uncertainty caused weak investor sentiment towards the UAE stock market in general,” said Tariq Qaqish, managing director at Menacorp asset management in Dubai.

“The IPO timing was not in favor of Emaar Development,” he added.

The developer’s parent company — Emaar Properties — has also seen its shares lose 5% since the start of the month, despite strong earnings.

Dubai Burj Khalifa
Emaar Development is actually behind the Burj Khalifa, as well as Dubai Marina as well as different properties within the United Arab Emirates.

Related: Dubai tests 18-rotor drone taxi

Emaar Properties, which runs Dubai Mall — the most visited mall within the planet — as well as 17 hotels, reported third quarter net profit of 1.51 billion dirhams ($411 million), up 32% through the same period last year.

Despite the strong numbers, some experts are warning of the risks of a “bubble” in Dubai real estate.

JLL, a real estate consultant as well as investment firm, has flagged the growing dangers of “a potential oversupply” as developers plan future projects based on sales achieved by offering financial incentives.

“Generous payment terms as well as guaranteed rent periods, although attractive to investors, could result in a future ‘real estate bubble’,” the item said in a report last month.

sy88pgw (Dubai) First published November 23, 2017: 11:35 AM ET