ENBD REIT Invests into Dubai’s First Purpose-Built Student Accommodation by Global Specialist

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  • ENBD REIT has acquired the 424-bed property on a sale and leaseback basis
  • GSA is a global leader in student accommodation
  • The total transaction value is AED 120 million

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: ENBD REIT (CEIC) Limited (“ENBD REIT”), the Nasdaq Dubai-listed Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management, announces that it has acquired Dubai’s first purpose-built student residence by Global Student Accommodation (“GSA”). ENBD REIT has acquired the 424-bed property from the global leader in student accommodation on a sale and leaseback agreement at a transaction value of AED 120 million. The acquisition is ENBD REIT’s first in the student accommodation segment, and part of a strategy for diversifying its asset portfolio. As part of the transaction GSA has entered into a 7-year lease.

The property, Uninest Dubailand, was built in 2016 and is the first of its kind in Dubai. It is in close proximity to Dubai Academic City, serving students attending more than 30 institutions across the city. Responsibility for managing the property will remain with GSA’s operations team, under the Uninest Student Residence brand.

Commenting on the acquisition, Tim Rose, Head of Real Estate at Emirates NBD Asset Management, said:

“We’re very pleased to announce our first acquisition since the successful listing of ENBD REIT on Nasdaq Dubai in March. This is an important step in our capital deployment programme, and a key milestone for the process of diversifying our portfolio beyond traditional asset classes. As GSA plans to grow its presence in Dubai and the UAE, we are looking forward to a strategic partnership that will allow both parties to support the growth of the Emirates’ education sector.”

The property comprises a 160,000 Sq. Ft. floor area covering 2 basement levels, a ground floor and 9 upper stories, as well as a roof-top swimming pool. A total of 242 rooms offer 424 beds, with residents benefitting from amenities including a café, gym, entertainment room, cinema room, dedicated study area and outdoor terrace.

The operator also provides a regular shuttle service to universities and shopping malls.

Following the acquisition, the ENBD REIT property portfolio’s total value is USD 349 million, with a net asset valuation (NAV) of USD 297 million, or USD 1.17 per share. Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio on gross asset value (GAV) is 32%, with occupancy of 86% across the portfolio. The portfolio’s weighted average unexpired lease term (WAULT) is 2.23 years, with offices accounting for 61% of the portfolio, residential accounting for 29% and alternative assets (including student accommodation) making up the remaining 10%. ENBD REIT has a total of 8 properties across Dubai.

Nicholas Porter, Chairman of GSA, commented:

“I am delighted that GSA’s work to bring purpose built student accommodation to Dubai has attracted the attention of such a well-respected partner with a track record for investing in high quality, income generating assets in the UAE. This transaction demonstrates the strength of GSA’s vision to support the continued growth of the higher education sector in the UAE and we look forward to working closely with ENBD REIT’s real estate and fund management team.”

GSA is headquartered in Dubai and operates two brands Uninest and The Student Housing Company. Founded in 2007, the company is growing rapidly across Australia, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the UAE and the UK. ENBD REIT is a leading Shari’a compliant Real Estate Investment Trust, invested in properties across Dubai’s office, residential, and alternative real estate asset classes. In March 2017, the Company successfully raised USD 105 million when it listed on Nasdaq Dubai.