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Aldar buys Etihad Airways buildings in Abu Dhabi through $326m deal

UAE's national carrier sells Etihad Plaza and Etihad Airways Centre in exchange for full ownership of its HQ in the capital city

Etihad will take full ownership of its HQ in Abu Dhabi after the Aldar Investment deal.
© ITP / Karim Sahib / AFP / Getty Images
Etihad will take full ownership of its HQ in Abu Dhabi after the Aldar Investment deal.

Aldar Investment Properties will acquire residential and commercial space from Etihad Airways, the UAE's national carrier, in a three-property deal that will see the airline taking full control of its headquarters.

The three properties – Etihad Plaza, Etihad Airways Centre, and Etihad Airways HQ – were previously held in 50:50 joint ventures between Aldar Properties and the airline.

Aldar Investment, a part of listed development giant Aldar Properties, will acquire 789 residential units, as well as approximately 1,600m² of net leasable office space and 1,000m² of retail space, as part of the agreement. The company will also be responsible for the debt of both buildings.

Etihad Plaza is a mid-rise residential development that provides housing to Etihad staff in apartments ranging from one- to four-bedrooms. It will be fully leased to Etihad on a long-term deal until 2034.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways Centre is located in Aldar’s Al Raha Beach development, and the office space will be leased to Etihad in a deal that expires in 2032. The facility has retail units sublet to operators, including supermarket Carrerfour and Jones the Grocer.

Aldar Investments' acquisition marks its first significant property deal since its inception in September 2018, and the $326.7m (AED1.2bn) transfer agreement is expected to close in Q2 2019.

Following the agreement between the two companies, Aldar Properties’ chief investment officer, Jassem Saleh Busaibe, has been appointed chief executive officer of Aldar Investments.

Busaibe said the deal with Etihad demonstrated Aldar’s “remarkable start to 2019”, during which the Abu Dhabi company has also restructured facilities management company Khidmah and created property management business Provis with the hope of “disrupting” the market.

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Construction Week - Issue 745
Jun 30, 2019