Abu Dhabi: Masdar has announced the launch of a sustainable real estate investment trust (REIT) – the first ‘green’ REIT to be introduced in the UAE.
The REIT was launched at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), by HE Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Khaled Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer of Aerospace, Renewables & ICT at Mubadala Investment Company, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. The REIT will have an initial valuation of between AED950 million (US$258.7 million) and AED1 billion.
The REIT will be established at ADGM, the award-winning International Financial Centre offering the first private REIT regime in the MENA region as part of its thriving business ecosystem.
It will initially include four commercial properties within Masdar City, the sustainable urban community in Abu Dhabi that is focused on low-carbon urban development. The private REIT will be launched as a Qualified Investor Fund, open to market counterparties and select clients by private placement. The properties cover a net leasable area of 57,493 sqm, and they have all achieved a rating of 3 Pearls or above on Abu Dhabi’s Estidama Pearl Building Rating System.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, said at ADSW: “This REIT is a significant milestone for green investment in the region, and demonstrates Masdar’s leadership in sustainable development. This is the first venture of its kind here, and offers investors an attractive option to invest in sustainable income-generating real-estate assets that are helping to contribute to a greater future for all. Investors are increasingly looking for ‘responsible investments’ and are evaluating companies based on specific environmental, social and governance practices criteria. The REIT will contribute to the development and strength of Abu Dhabi’s real-estate sector and bring in greater investment from domestic and international investors that want to make a real difference.”
The ‘green’ REIT also marks great progress in bringing the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration to life, which was signed last year by 25 public and private sector entities, including Masdar and ADGM, and is aimed at establishing a healthy and sustainable finance industry that supports the UAE in attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Richard Teng, CEO of the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said: “We are pleased to be facilitating this landmark REIT and commend Masdar’s efforts towards the progression of the UAE’s sustainability agenda. ADGM offers the ideal environment in that it combines a forward-thinking REIT regime, which was developed in response to market demand, with a strong focus on sustainable finance – an effort that ADGM has been spearheading in the region. We look forward to further advancing the UAE’s sustainability objectives alongside Masdar through the establishment of this REIT.”
Masdar has been advancing the commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy, sustainable urban development and clean technologies to address global sustainability challenges since 2006, and is currently active in more than 30 countries. In 2018, Masdar signed the first green revolving credit facility in the Middle East, helping to support its investments in global clean technology and sustainable real estate projects.