Dubai\'s Emaar Properties, builder of the world\'s tallest tower, reported a 44 percent rise in first-quarter net operating profit on Saturday on increased property sales in Dubai and strong revenue from shopping malls business. The UAE\'s largest developer by market value made a net operating profit of AED606m ($165m), compared to AED421m during the same period last year, it said in an emailed statement. Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Emaar would make a quarterly profit of AED496.75m. Revenue for the quarter was AED1.821bn, the company said in the statement, adding that shopping malls and retail businesses contributed AED651m ($177m) and hospitality and leisure businesses contributed AED403m. The revenues from malls and hospitality in this quarter increased by 25 percent as compared to same period in 2011 and accounted for 58 percent of the company\'s total revenue. Emaar said the number of visitors to The Dubai Mall during the first three months increased by 22% to 16 million while The Address Hotels + Resorts recorded its best performance since inception with an average occupancy of 92 percent during Q1. Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said: \"We have entered a new era of growth for Emaar, focused on identifying new growth opportunities in line with the fast-changing economic environment. \"Our strength has always been in envisaging and executing prime real estate assets that contribute significantly to the economies we serve in. In Dubai, our assets are a prime driver of tourism, hospitality and retail, the traditional sectors that boost economic growth.\" He said Emaar handed over 158 residential units during Q1 comprising of 117 units in Dubai and 41 units in the international markets. The company also handed over 180,000 sq ft of commercial space in the first quarter of the year.