$1bn UAE real estate fund appoints CEO

Key appointment announced ahead of launch of fund to target UAE property assets

(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Brookfield Asset Management Inc and Investment Corporation of Dubai have announced a key appointment ahead of the launch of a $1bn fund which will target UAE real estate assets.

The companies said Douglas Kirkman, senior vice president of the Brookfield Property Group, has been appointed as CEO of ICD-Brookfield Management Limited, which will manage the fund. He will be based in Dubai.

The ICD-Brookfield Dubai Real Estate Fund, once formed, will pursue opportunities in the Dubai real estate sector with a particular focus on development opportunities.

The manager of the fund is jointly owned by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management and Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Investment Corporation of Dubai is the investment arm of the government of Dubai and holds stakes in more than 30 companies, including Emaar Properties, developer of the world’s largest mall and tallest tower, and Emirates Airlines.

Prior to assuming his current position,Kirkman worked for the Blackstone Group, where he helped set up their Indian real estate business and led their drive into Turkey.

The fund, which was first announced in October 2011, will be capped at $1bn. The two companies will anchor the fund, with a limited number of local and international parties invited to invest in the scheme, a statement said at the time.

Property prices in Dubai soared after the city opened its real estate sector to foreign investors in 2002, granting them freehold ownership rights at many developments.

From start-2007 to mid-2008, prices rallied almost 80 percent, Morgan Stanley estimates showed, with billions of dollars worth of new projects launched by local developers.

But home prices in Dubai, the Gulf property market that had the biggest reversal because of the financial crisis, fell more than 60 percent in the wake of the global credit crunch.

Now, house prices in Dubai are showing signs of recovery, with rises in prime projects such as Palm Jumeirah and Arabian Ranches.

Dubai has recently unveiled a slate of mega projects including the Mohammed Bin Rashid City.

No value has been given for the entire MBR City project which will comprise four key components.

The first component will focus on family tourism, and will include a giant park, equipped to receive 35 million visitors and a family entertainment centre set up in collaboration with Universal Studios and hotel facilities.

The second component, focusing on retail, will feature the largest shopping mall in the world called Mall of the World. Dubai already boasts the largest mall in the world, Emaar's The Dubai Mall.

A third component will include the largest area for arts galleries in Middle East and North Africa while the fourth fourth component will see the development of facilities to provide "an integrated environment for entrepreneurship and innovation in the region".

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