By Andy Sambidge
Consortium of regional banks announce signing of financing facility to build new airport terminal
A consortium of UAE banks on Monday announced the signing of a AED4bn ($1.08bn) loan with the joint venture picked to build the Midfield Terminal Building at Abu Dhabi's International Airport.
Al Hilal Bank, First Gulf Bank, Mashreq, Union National Bank and Arab Bank have inked the deal with the JV which includes Dubai's Arabtec, Turkey's TAV Insaat, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company.
The terminal building, which is the centrepiece of Abu Dhabi Airport Company's multi-billion dollar expansion plan was awarded in June.
The project is expected to start operations in the first half of 2017.
The 700,000 sq m terminal building is one of the key strategic infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the UAE capital, and will initially handle 27m passengers per year.
It will be the future home of Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways.
The project will include two phases - the four-year construction phase and the operational readiness assessment phase to undertake tests.
M Sani Sener, TAV Group president and CEO, said in comments published by news agency WAM: "Abu Dhabi is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, real estate and tourism projects as it moves to diversify its economy away from oil.
"The TAV Group will be transferring the know-how it gained through a number of projects around the world, to Abu Dhabi with this eminent project.
"We'll provide unparalleled infrastructure to ensure best-quality services in this new terminal, bringing together the latest technology and impressive design."
Julio De Quesada, head of Corporate Banking Group, Mashreq, added: "We are proud to be part of this massive and strategically important project in Abu Dhabi, which is the largest single contract awarded in GCC in the first half of 2012.
"The project will have a great impact on the country's development and underlines the commitment of banks to lend in support of similar key infrastructure projects."