The real estate giant said in a statement on Sunday that 2005 first-half profits were up by 384% from the 523 million dirhams ($142.5 million) recorded in the first half of 2004.

 

During an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Saturday, EMAAR approved doubling of its capital to about $1.5 billion and decided to raise the limit of foreign ownership in the company's equity to 49% from 20%.

 

EMAAR, which lists the Dubai government as the largest of its 41,000 shareholders and boasts a $7.7 billion asset base, has 15 projects ongoing in the Gulf city-state.

 

When completed, EMAAR's Burj Dubai Tower will be about 800 metres high, taller than any building in the emirate.