ENBD REIT pursues WELL Health Safety Rating at Al Thuraya Tower 1

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  • Al Thuraya Tower 1, the largest asset in the REIT’s portfolio, is valued at USD 69 million
  • Capital work projects will be completed by end of 2021
  • WELL Health Safety Rating will improve asset marketability and forms part of the REIT’s active asset management strategy

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: ENBD REIT (CEIC) PLC (“ENBD REIT” or the “Fund”), the Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited, has announced it is pursuing the WELL Health Safety Rating for Al Thuraya Tower 1. ENBD REIT has appointed Savills to manage the certification process as part of a series of strategic upgrades to Al Thuraya Tower 1, located in Dubai Media City, a cornerstone asset in its portfolio.

The WELL Health Safety seal is part of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) WELL Building Standard (WELL), a roadmap for creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being. The WELL Health Safety seal is awarded after an annual review of a building’s health and safety policies and protocols. The rating and ongoing construction works at Al Thuraya Tower 1 are due to be completed in late 2021, ensuring that tenants benefit from the highest quality facilities. 

Anthony Taylor, Head of Real Estate at Emirates NBD Asset Management, said: 

Over the past year, the real estate sector has faced significant disruption resulting from challenging dynamics created by the Covid-19 pandemic. UAE residents typically spend over 90% of their time indoors, which means as landlords it is vital we invest in our assets to ensure this time is spent in the healthiest and most productive environment possible. New considerations must be taken into account for the conditions in which tenants now live and work, and landlords need to remain agile in seizing opportunities to repurpose and reimagine how assets are used. 

We have taken this approach with one of our flagship assets in Dubai Media City, Al Thuraya Tower 1, and started major refurbishment works at the building. As part of the upgrades we’re also looking at how quality of life can be improved for tenants and look forward to working with Savills to achieve the WELL Health Safety Rating.”

ENBD REIT’s agile leasing strategy has created headroom for significant refurbishments across the portfolio, to upgrade common areas, bathrooms, lift efficiency, and other areas to improve accessibility, hygiene and efficiency for tenants. In particular, the WELL Health Safety Rating prioritises tenant wellbeing and the surrounding environment, ensuring assets are equipped to protect occupants against Covid-19, through improved specifications for air quality and building materials that are more easily sanitised to prevent bacterial build-up. 

Graham MacGregor at Savills, also commented:

ENBD REIT have seized a major opportunity in the Dubai real estate market. With an increasing volume of Dubai’s backbone infrastructural real estate coming to the end of a 15 year life-cycle, Al Thuraya Tower 1 will be well positioned to attract prospective tenants with new lifts and future chiller upgrades along with several enhancements to tenant facilities. Infrastructural upgrades in tandem with the WELL Health Safety certification will elevate Al Thuraya Tower 1 to be one of very few buildings in Dubai that can guarantee access to state of the art facilities for tenants while ensuring that the comfort and well-being of the occupants has been made a top priority.”

The ongoing asset upgrades and WELL Health Safety certification are due for completion later in the year. Al Thuraya Tower 1 will offer revamped communal meeting spaces, a level 1 garden area and refurbished common areas along with an improved working environment that adheres to the specifications of the globally recognised certification. Al Thuraya Tower 1 is the largest asset in the REIT’s portfolio by value, at USD 69 million, with the current investment for upgrading the building totalling USD $6.2 million.

ABOUT ENBD REIT:

ENBD REIT (CEIC) PLC (“ENBD REIT”) is a Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited (the “Fund Manager”), listed on Nasdaq Dubai under ticker ENBDREIT. ENBD REIT is a closed-ended investment company that was incorporated by the Fund Manager to invest in a diversified Portfolio of Shari’a-compliant real estate assets in the UAE. ENBD REIT has an unlimited duration and was established in the DIFC by the Fund Manager on 18 July 2016 under the Companies Law with the name “Emirates Real Estate Fund Limited” and with registration number 2209. The Fund subsequently changed its name to “ENBD REIT (CEIC) Limited” and later ENBD REIT (CEIC) PLC in line with the new DIFC Companies Law. ENBD REIT is categorised under DFSA law and regulations as a Public Fund, a Domestic Fund, an Islamic Fund, a Property Fund and a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). ENBD REIT has been established with the main investment objective of generating income returns and capital appreciation from real estate assets. ENBD REIT plans to achieve its objectives through the following strategies: (i) prudent acquisitions with a focus on achieving diversification; and (ii) active asset management and enhancement.