Aldar Properties has agreed to buy four prime commercial towers from Mubadala Investment Company at Abu Dhabi Global Market, the international financial center on the capital’s Al Maryah Island.
The transaction includes the four main office towers at ADGM ― Al Sila, Al Sarab, Al Maqam and Al Khatem ― with a total net leasable area of 180,000 square meters.
Aldar will also take ownership of the north and south car parks, which serve the office towers, and other mixed-use space.
The assets will be held by Aldar Investment Properties (AIP), the region’s largest institutional-class real estate platform and are valued at Dh4.3 billion ($1.17bn), representing one of the largest real estate transactions in the UAE.
The deal brings Aldar’s total capital deployment into recurring income assets during 2022 to over Dh7bn.
“We continue to be active in pursuit of capital deployment opportunities to expand our portfolio as part of our transformational growth agenda,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, group chief executive of Aldar.
The office towers at ADGM are non-replicable assets in Abu Dhabi and allow us to diversify our commercial offering and income streams.”
Aldar’s long-term relationship with Mubadala and the “strategic nature of the transaction” will allow Aldar to drive ADGM’s position as one of the most desirable destinations in the region for international financial services companies, Mr Al Dhiyebi said.
The developer behind Abu Dhabi’s Formula One circuit and other big developments in the emirate, Aldar is looking to expand both its footprint and portfolio of assets. The property market in the UAE bounced back strongly from the pandemic-driven slow-down in 2021 and the trend has continued this year as the Arab world’s second-largest economy remains on a strong growth trajectory.
The UAE’s economy is set to post its strongest annual expansion this year since 2011 after it grew by 8.2 per cent in the first three months of 2022 on higher oil prices and measures that stemmed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Central Bank of the UAE.
Pent-up demand and improved investor sentiment have also helped to drive property sales, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that is encouraging developers to launch new projects and further invest in acquiring assets to diversify their portfolios.
Aldar in recent months has been on an investment spree. On Wednesday, the developer announced the acquisition of Ras Al Khaimah’s DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan Island, as well as an adjacent beachfront development plot for Dh810 million.
The acquisition made by AIP was the third investment by Aldar in Ras Al Khaimah this year, after deals to buy Al Hamra Mall and Rixos Bab Al Bahr in February and April, respectively. The company’s total investment in the emirate has risen to Dh2bn.
Last month, Aldar further expanded its hospitality portfolio with the acquisition of Nurai Island Resort, as well as two new Abu Dhabi islands intended for residential development.
Aldar plans to undertake a refurbishment and extend the hospitality and food and beverage offering at Nurai Island Resort. The two islands within the Abu Dhabi archipelago are “envisioned to be developed with high-end, luxury beachfront villas”, it said at the time.
“The acquisition allows Aldar to tap into an operational luxury offering that is highly attractive to select clientele,” it said.
The developer did not disclose the value of the deal.
Aldar said it will continue to access more opportunities in the UAE and beyond as it ramps up the execution of its growth strategy.
In July, Egypt’s Sixth of October for Development and Investment Company (Sodic), which is backed Aldar and Abu Dhabi’s ADQ submitted a non-binding offer to fully acquire Cairo-based developer Madinet Nasr Housing and Development.
We continue to be active in pursuit of capital deployment opportunities to expand our portfolio as part of our transformational growth agenda
Talal Al Dhiyebi, group chief executive, Aldar
The potential acquisition will value Egyptian Exchange-listed developer Madinet Nasr at 6.18 billion Egyptian pounds ($328m), Aldar said in a statement at the time.
Aldar on Thursday said that the latest transaction with Mubadala positions its investment portfolio to benefit from the attractive growth prospects of the “Grade A commercial office market” on Al Maryah Island and particularly in ADGM.
In addition to being the master developer of the 116-hectare Al Maryah Island, Mubadala is also a founding shareholder in Aldar and currently holds a 25 percent stake in the company.
“Today’s transaction is a milestone” and the “right moment for Mubadala to realize the value” of the properties after nearly a decade of ownership, Ali Al Mheiri, executive director of UAE Diversified Assets at Mubadala, said.