x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Emirates NBD to buy buildings in Meydan

The bank has signed an agreement to buy three commercial buildings in Dubai's Meydan development.

Emirates NBD has signed an agreement to buy three commercial buildings in Dubai's Meydan development, the centrepiece of which is the Dh10 billion (US$2.72bn) Meydan Racecourse and Grandstand. The memorandum of understanding between the bank and the developer Meydan was one of the few major property transactions in Dubai since the economic downturn, analysts said. The buildings are in the first phase of the Meydan Metropolis district of the 1,850 hectare development, which is to feature a network of canals and have a 1.4km-long mall in the shape of the signature of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Emirates NBD said it planned to use the buildings for corporate staffing. Two of them are expected to be ready this year and the third by the middle of next year. The value of the deal has not been disclosed. The buildings include offices, retail space and showrooms comprising 32,500 square metres. "It is important for developers to generate cash flow and to take steps to de-risk their projects," said Blair Hagkull, the managing director at the property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle MENA.

Mr Hagkull said transactions in the property market were initially likely to be cash-rich investors acquiring assets at distressed prices and corporate transactions. rbundhun@thenational.ae