x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Emirates Reit buys floor on Dubai’s Index Tower

Emirates Reit has acquired the seventh floor of the Norman Foster-designed Index Tower in Dubai from an Egyptian investment bank.

At centre is Dubai's Index Tower, which was designed by the architect Norman Foster. Satish Kumar / The National
At centre is Dubai's Index Tower, which was designed by the architect Norman Foster. Satish Kumar / The National

Emirates Reit, the UAE’s first property investment trust, said it had acquired the seventh floor of Dubai’s Index Tower from the Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes in exchange for a 4 per cent stake in the trust.

The Dh1.2 billion trust, which buys property and distributes rental dividends to shareholders, said yesterday it had also bought, from the Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD, those parking spaces in the tower that it did not already own.

The seventh floor of the Index Tower has 22,000 square feet of commercial space. The building has 698 parking spots.

Located at the Dubai International Financial Centre, the Index Tower was designed by Norman Foster, the British architect whose other projects in this country include Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute, Central Market and Zayed National Museum (the latter scheduled to open in 2016).

“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,” Sylvain Vieujot, the deputy chairman of Emirates Reit Management, said.

Emirates Reit, established in 2010, also said it had increased its shareholder base through a capital increase in the last quarter of 2013. Under the increase, Emirates NBD took a 5 per cent stake in the company, Singapore Enterprises 3 per cent and an assortment of private investors 1 per cent.

“The quality and performance of our portfolio has attracted renowned players in the industry. These relationships help us diversify and strengthen our shareholder base,” Mr Vieujot said.

Singapore Enterprises, a privately owned firm, also has the biggest shareholding in Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust, the biggest publicly traded Islamic Reit in the world by total assets and market capitalisation of S$742.6 million (Dh2.15 billion) as of last June 30.

Most Reits, or real estate investment trusts, around the world are publicly traded and if Emirates Reit were to list its shares, it would be the first Reit do so in the UAE. Emirates Reit’s eight investment properties in Dubai include Gems World Academy, Indigo 7 on Sheikh Zayed Road and Office Park in Dubai Internet City.