Emirates REIT, the UAE’s first regulated real estate investment trust, said in a media statement that it has acquired the seventh floor of Dubai’s Index Tower from Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes in return for approximately 4 per cent shareholding in the REIT.
With these transactions, Emirates REIT’s portfolio has reached approximately Dh1.2 billion, it noted while announcing a number of important transactions expanding its portfolio and strengthening its shareholder base. Emirates REIT also acquired all remaining car parking spaces in the DIFC-located Index Tower from Emirates NBD, it said in the statement.
The acquisition of the entire floor, which has 22,000 square feet of commercial space, is in addition to the transaction that Emirates REIT concluded in May 2013, which included purchasing retail units located over ground, podium and sky lobby levels and car parking spaces in the Index Tower. The REIT now owns 698 car parking spaces in Index Tower.
Index Tower is a landmark ‘Grade A’ mixed-use tower designed by Norman Foster and located in the DIFC, a well-established commercial and residential free zone district in Dubai. The car parking spaces are available for lease by residents and businesses operating in the building. Emirates REIT is making the office floor and the car parking spaces available for lease immediately.
In addition to EFG Hermes, Emirates REIT has expanded its shareholder base in the last quarter of 2013 through capital increase, adding renowned regional and international investors: Emirates NBD (5 per cent), Singapore Enterprises (3 per cent) and private investors (1 per cent). Singapore Enterprises is the majority shareholder in the Manager of the Sabana Shari’a Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust. As of June 30, 2013, Sabana is the largest listed Shari’a compliant REIT in the world in terms of both market capitalisation and total assets.
Sylvain Vieujot, Deputy Chairman of Emirates REIT Management, said: “The quality and performance of our portfolio has attracted renowned players in the industry. These relationships help us diversify and strengthen our shareholder base as we head to our next stage of development. We are especially pleased to be able to increase our presence in Index Tower, which we believe to be one of the most significant landmarks in the DIFC and one that holds considerable potential for both strong lease revenue and capital appreciation.”