Public Parking

Dubai’s Parkin IPO surges amid Gulf privatization push

Nearly 30 IPOs are expected in the Gulf this year, with supermarket chains Lulu and Spinneys among those preparing to go public

A trader walks by beneath a stock display board at the Dubai Stock Exchange. (Photo: Getty Images)

As of this morning, Dubai has IPO’d six out of the 10 government entities it plans to take private as the emirate looks to boost trading volumes on its stock exchange and join the capital markets action picking up speed in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. 

The Dubai public parking company, Parkin, debuted on the DFM today with a 31% surge in its stock price. Parkin’s $429 million IPO was 165 times covered and attracted $71 billion in orders – a record for Dubai. The company pitched to shareholders a growth story on the back of Dubai’s population boom: it forecasts demand for public parking to grow by 60% by 2033, Bloomberg reports. 

Strong post-listing performance is becoming a signature of the region’s companies – returning an average of 40% to investors – and spurring international interest in IPOs here. Strong investor demand has been bolstered by government reforms, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, amid a privatization push. 

Nearly 30 IPOs are expected in the Gulf this year. Two of the region’s biggest grocers are in line: Lulu Group is reportedly eyeing a $1 billion dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Spinneys Dubai, the franchisee of the supermarket chain in the UAE and Oman, is also expected to go public in 2024. No word yet on what the Dubai government may sell off next.