Abu Dhabi’s biggest developer, Aldar Properties, has announced its first ever quarterly loss, totalling more than 500m dirhams (£87m) for the last three months of 2009

It also disclosed that it has sold assets to the Abu Dhabi government, which analysts believe may be in lieu of repaying a loan. The weak results were mainly the consequence of Aldar failing to sell any land in the quarter.

Aldar recorded an operating profit of 906.8m dirhams for the full year of 2009, down from 3.37bn in 2008. Revenues for 2009 fell to 1.98bn dirhams from 4.98bn in 2008.

Developments under construction fell to 18bn dirhams from 23bn in 2008.

Aldar revealed that it had sold parts of its portfolio to the Abu Dhabi government, including “certain infrastructure and property assets” on Yas Island, which contains a Formula One circuit and hotel.

Chet Riley, Nomura Securities analyst, said: “We think it is likely that this ‘sale’ will be reflected in a ‘repayment’ of the Yas Island loan, so there’s probably no cash to be remitted back to Aldar.”

Aldar has a joint venture with Laing O’Rourke, which is thought to have been reduced in scope. Both side have denied that the partnership is over, although its website has been closed.