Emaar, Aldar in Dh30B JV to boost UAE’s tourism ecosystem

The two master developers will jointly develop residential, commercial, retail, leisure and entertainment projects

The UAE’s two major developers Emaar and Aldar have joined hands to launch massive Dh30 billion worth of iconic and lifestyle projects locally and internationally.

The two developers will also initially jointly develop Emaar Beach Front in Dubai and Saadiyat Grove at Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. This is the largest cross-emirate joint venture announced in the UAE’s real estate sector which will reshape the UAE’s skyline and further strengthen the UAE’s status as a major tourism destination.

Going forward, the two master developers will jointly develop residential, commercial, retail, leisure and entertainment projects. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the announcement of the joint venture.

“We have great ambitions and we are confident our national firms have the capabilities to achieve them. We want our companies to be at the forefront of our development and collaborate with each other to explore creative ideas for strengthening the UAE’s leadership, and enhancing the happiness and quality of life of our people,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Set to become the most-coveted address in Abu Dhabi, the mixed-use Saadiyat Grove development will house three museums, 2,000 residential units, two hotels, 400 serviced apartments, and 130,000 sqm of experiential lifestyle and retail space. It is slated to open in 2021.

The second mega project – Emaar Beachfront – in Dubai is a private island which will feature 7,000 residential units with an access to 1.5km private sandy beach. Located between Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Palm Jumeirah, the project has direct access to Sheikh Zayed Road and Duai Marina.

The project will feature leisure and lifestyle attractions including F&B outlets, beachside play areas, retail pop-ups set along a promenade, and more. Residents of Emaar Beachfront, comprising approximately 7,000 residential units, will have access to a 1.5km private sandy beach as well.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Aldar Properties, said the joint venture will expand the country’s portfolio of iconic real estate projects and there is no limit to the development possibilities created by the JV partnership between Aldar and Emaar.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said: “The world-class lifestyle destinations that we develop will add to the civic pride of the nation, and further enhance its appeal as an investment and lifestyle destination. We are drawing on our proven competencies in delivering high quality master-planned communities that have not only redefined lifestyles but also created tremendous economic value for our country.”

The number one listed developer by market cap in Mena region, Emaar Properties had more than 2 billion square feet of land bank in key countries in November 2017. It had around Dh51 billion total backlog with Dh41 billion in UAE. It has delivered 56,000 units in the UAE so far. It had sold 80 per cent of Dubai’s total units under development. The master developer has over 42,500 units under construction with over 24,000 in the UAE.

Rehan Akbar, vice-president and senior analysts, at Moody’s Investors Service, said the UAE real estate sector has been evolving for several years now and this is another step in that direction.

“Soft demand dynamics, increased real estate regulations that protect investors and substantial supply in the market means that developers with a strong brand, proven track record and healthy balance sheet are the ones which are capturing market share. Both Emaar and Aldar are the strongest developers in their respective home market and this tie-up will open doors for further opportunities in the future,” Akbar said.

Jason Hayes, CEO and founder, luxuryproperty.com, said this joint venture aims to cement the UAE’s reputation for creating the world’s most innovative developments and in doing so the JV will serve to harnesses the power of two incredible organizations.

He said it is a strategic move to place the JV as a global operator. “Of course, Sadiyaat Grove project is incredible and I can see how Emaar would wish to be involved. The quid pro quo is true of The Dubai Island Harbour project for Aldar. This appears to be a case of two development companies with aligned strategic values and ambitions combining to achieve enhanced competitiveness and efficiencies for onward growth.”

Currently, Emaar has access to 21.3 million square metres of land in the UAE, of which 22 per cent is wholly-owned by them while the remaining is accessible through their joint venture projects such as Dubai Hills Estate, Dubai Creek Harbour and Emaar South, Moody’s Rehan Akbar added.

Atik Munshi, senior partner, Horwath MAK, said the joint project between Emmar Aldar is a strategic decision of importance not only between the two real estate giants but also the show of togetherness. “Consolidation is the name of the game.”

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