By Daniel Shane
Move is the latest sign of increasing Abu Dhabi influence at Dubai’s largest builder
Developer Aldar Properties is to lease an entire office block in Abu Dhabi to Arabtec in the latest sign of Dubai’s largest construction firm increasing focus in the UAE capital.
Under the agreement, Arabtec will occupy the entire World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi commercial tower on a long-term lease.
In a statement to Dubai Financial Market, Arabtec said the office would allow it to better support future expansion and existing business operations in the emirate. It added that its planned expansion activities included in oil and gas, and the power and infrastructure sectors.
“The World Trade Centre, one of the latest high-quality mixed-use developments, is ideally placed to be a base for Arabtec and our subsidiaries in the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” said CEO and managing director Hasan Abdulla Ismaik.
“The new space is planned to provide room for expansion as we deliver on our new growth strategy.”
Abu Dhabi investment fund Aabar last year increased its stake in Arabtec to 22 percent, to become the single largest shareholder in the firm. Arabtec plans to raise $1.8bn through a rights issue and convertible bond to finance growth, but Ismaik said Aabar was not seeking to further increase its stake.
Ismaik replaced Arabtec founder Riad Kamal as CEO in February this year in a major shake-up that also saw the builder’s CFO and COO depart the company. Aabar has also previously named its chairman Kadem Abdulla al-Qubaisi as Arabtec’s chairman.
Arabtec has benefited from Abu Dhabi’s influence, winning major contracts including a $2.9bn deal to build a new airport terminal in the capital.