(Bloomberg) -- Dubai Taxi Co.’s initial public offering of as much as 1.16 billion dirhams ($315 million) received enough orders to cover the deal within an hour of opening, showing strong demand for the emirate’s first privatization in a year.

Books are covered throughout the price range, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. The government is selling 624.75 million shares, or a 25% stake, at 1.8 dirhams to 1.85 dirhams each, the company said Tuesday. That values Dubai Taxi at as much as 4.62 billion dirhams.

Investors will be able to place orders until Nov. 29, with the final offer price set to be announced on Nov. 30. The shares are expected to start trading on Dec. 7. 

The IPO will be the first share sale by Dubai’s government in more than 12 months. It raised $8.3 billion by selling stakes in four state-owned companies, including the city’s main water and electricity utility, in 2022. The share sales are part of a plan unveiled about two years ago to list 10 state-owned companies to boost flagging trading volumes and match similar drives in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

So far this year, there has only been one other IPO in Dubai. The family-owned money exchange firm Al Ansari Financial Services PJSC raised $210 million in March in what was one of the first private firms to list in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai Taxi joins a busy listing window in the UAE, with two other companies planning to go public in the capital, Abu Dhabi. PureHealth Holding PJSC, a health-care platform controlled by one of the Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds and its largest listed conglomerate, announced its IPO this week, while cryptocurrency mining hardware retailer Phoenix Group Plc last week took orders for its $371 million listing.

Post-Covid Haven

Dubai Taxi Co. is the city’s largest taxi operator by fleet, with a 44% market share, according to its website.

The company is expected to benefit from Dubai’s emergence as a post-Covid haven. An influx of crypto millionaires and Russians since the start of war in Ukraine have boosted the city’s population and the UAE plans to attract millions more in the coming decades.

Dubai Taxi expects to pay a fourth-quarter dividend of at least 71 million dirhams in April. From the 2024 fiscal year, it intends to pay at least 85% of annual net profit in two dividend payments.

Citigroup Inc., Emirates NBD Capital and Bank of America Corp. are acting as as joint global coordinators on the IPO, while Rothschild & Co. is acting as independent financial adviser.

(Updates with books covered, background in 6th paragraph)

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.