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Tue 1 Sep 2015 11:02 AM

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Dubai’s SKAI in $300m funding deal with some of China's biggest banks

Syndicated finance package includes Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest lender by assets.

Dubai’s SKAI in $300m funding deal with some of China's biggest banks
Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah

Dubai real estate firm SKAI, the developer behind the Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah hotel project, has secured $300 million in new funding from a range of local and international lenders, including some of the biggest banks in the world.

The syndicated finance package will be a dual Islamic and conventional facility and is backed by seven financial institutions, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Invest Bank and Arab African International Bank and four Chinese banks.

The Asian lenders will include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest lender by assets and market capitalisation, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and China Minsheng Banking Corp, China’s largest privately-owned bank.

“This transaction received AED2.2 billion ($585 million) in subscriptions, representing an overwhelming interest from some of the world’s foremost financial institutions. The syndication also demonstrates a firm commitment to Dubai’s growing hospitality sector. Construction work on our flagship project, Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, is progressing well and is currently six-months ahead of schedule, setting it on track for completion in the second half of 2016,” said Kabir Mulchandani, Group CEO of SKAI.

The funds will be used to support the construction of SKAI’s flagship project, the Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, the Viceroy Dubai Jumeirah Village project and a third project set to be launched soon.

In March, SKAI said it would upgrade its upper upscale property in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle to a five-star luxury property and rebrand it Viceroy Dubai Jumeirah Village following the signing of Viceroy Hotel Group as its hotel operator.

Arif Usmani, Global Head of Wholesale Banking Group, ADIB, said: “We are pleased to have played a leading role in this unique transaction which is testament to our appetite to continue supporting our clients through innovative deal structures that match their financial needs. The transaction also highlights the strengths of the hospitality sector in Dubai and the UAE.”

“We remain confident about Dubai’s hospitality sector, which is backed by significant fundamentals such as Expo 2020, a growing population and continued investment in the key infrastructure,” said Zhang Junguo, Deputy General Manager, ICBC Dubai (DIFC) Branch.

(left to right): Zhang Junguo, Deputy General Manager, ICBC Dubai (DIFC) Branch; Kabir Mulchandani, Group CEO of SKAI; Arif Usmani, General Manager Global Wholesales Banking, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; Feng Rui, Director, Project Finance and Investment Department, CSCEC (ME) LLC.

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