Gulf Related plans big Abu Dhabi project
Abu Dhabi, December 26, 2012
Gulf Related, a regional real estate development company, has bought four key plots on Al Maryah Island (formerly Sowwah Island) in Abu Dhabi from Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI) for development of a new retail, residential area in the UAE capital.
Gulf Related is a joint-venture partnership between Gulf Capital, one of the Middle East's leading alternative asset management firms, and Related Companies, a major private real estate development and investment firm in the US.
A real estate arm of Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Company, MREI said Gulf Related is the latest third-party developer to purchase land on Al Maryah, joining leading Taiwanese developer Farglory Group, developing four luxury waterfront towers, and local financial institutions National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Al Hilal Bank which will each build a commercial tower.
With this sale, Gulf Related will be able to deliver a further 288,200 sqm gross floor area (GFA) to the existing mixed use retail district at Sowwah Square, said the Abu Dhabi company in a statement.
The expansion will provide a world class regional retail destination that will include residential and hotel development in line with the vision of the Abu Dhabi government for the Al Maryah Island masterplan, it stated.
The central plots neighbour the Sowwah Square district, already home to over 40 blue chip companies, and adjacent to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. When complete Sowwah Square will accommodate a working population of over 10,000.
The latest transaction also represents the continuation of a successful working relationship between MREI and Gulf Related following the creation of their joint venture in January 2011 to develop, lease, and operate The Galleria at Sowwah Square.
The Galleria is a 33,000 sq m gross floor area (GLA) retail destination that will bring fashion brands and dining to the capital when it opens in Autumn 2013.
Commenting on the deal, MREI executive director Ali Eid Al Mheiri said, “Partnerships with recognized investors and developers are central to Mubadala’s vision for Al Maryah Island. We are confident that Gulf Related’s understanding of the overall masterplan, combined with their experience in delivering world-class mixed-use projects, such as Time Warner Center in New York, makes them an ideal development partner.”
Kenneth A. Himmel, the co-managing partner of Gulf Related and president and CEO of Related Urban said: “We pursue large-scale landmark mixed-use real estate developments in the GCC, similar to our celebrated projects in the US. Abu Dhabi presents fantastic opportunities, and we are delighted to be able to acquire such a premium and centrally located plot to help us build on and expand our successful Galleria project.”
Dr Karim El Solh, co-managing partner of Gulf Related and CEO of Gulf Capital said, "This acquisition by Gulf Related highlights our belief in the Abu Dhabi retail market and its substantial growth prospects. Al Maryah Island will become the premier shopping and dining destination in Abu Dhabi."
"This project reflects the type of high-end, marquee developments Gulf Related will be pursuing across the Middle East," he added.-TradeArabia News Service