By Andy Sambidge
Shari'a compliant regulated real estate investment trust buys community mall in Dubai Marina in $32.2m deal
Emirates REIT Limited, the Shariah-compliant regulated real estate investment trust, has announced its first acquisition since listing on NASDAQ Dubai.
The trust, incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre, said in a statement it has acquired the community mall which forms part of Trident Grand Residence Tower, Dubai Marina, known as Le Grande, for AED118.2 million ($32.2 million) in cash.
Le Grande is a community mall that forms part of a 45-floor mixed-use building located in Dubai Marina, close to the JBR Walk and major hotels, such as Habtoor Grand and the Le Royal Meridien.
It consists of 22 individual retail and food and beverage units on the ground and podium floors, as well as 161 basement car park spaces. The acquired units are currently leased to tenants, including restaurant chains, such as Reem Al Bawadi, Hako Sushi, Yobo, Tidjoori and Uchkuduk.
Retailers include Avanti and Beauty Secret Ladies Salon. The mall also houses children's entertainment centre Cheeky Monkeys.
The current total gross leasable area of the retail space extends to over 86,396 square foot, with occupancy currently at 77 percent with 19 of the 22 units let.
Emirates REIT said it aims to increase the rental yield of the property by increasing occupancy, reconfiguring areas to increase leasable space and generating car parking income.
The transaction is the REIT's first acquisition, following its initial public offering (IPO) last month and increases the valuation of its portfolio to over AED1.3 billion.
Sylvain Vieujot, executive deputy chairman of Emirates REIT Management (Private) Limited, said: "Le Grande is a high-quality property that is located in one of the most popular areas of new Dubai.
"The retail units have good occupancy rates and strong yields, which we believe our asset management team can improve further over time. Importantly the acquisition will enhance the diversity of the REIT's portfolio both with respect to location and asset type.
"This is the first transaction since going public and one of a number of potential short listed property acquisitions which we are looking at closely."
The net proceeds of Emirates REIT's IPO are to be used to fund future acquisitions, while a portion of the proceeds will be directed towards further investment in existing assets.