Aldar Investment's main focus will be investments within the UAE, but with the flexibility to target Saudi Arabia and Egypt later. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s Aldar is getting into a new space – logistics. It made the move by buying 70 per cent in the Abu Dhabi Business Hub, which values it at Dh500 million. The other 30 per cent will be with a strategic partner.

Abu Dhabi Business Hub is a developer and manager of real estate in the emirate, and owns a warehousing, industrial, and office complex in Industrial City Abu Dhabi with a net lettable area of 166,000 square metres. It features three office buildings, 132,000 square metres of warehouses, and undeveloped industrial plots for future expansion.

The existing logistics facilities are 90 per cent plus occupied, helped by longer term leases with anchor tenants, including supermarket operator Spinneys, ZonesCorp, and Abu Dhabi’s media free zone operator, Twofour54. The “office block together with the undeveloped land plots bring significant potential for further growth”, a statement said.

According to Jassem Busaibe, CEO of Aldar Investment, which bought the 70 per cent, said: “We see strong potential for expansion in warehousing and logistics real estate in the region, a segment which has robust fundamentals driven by infrastructure development and growth of the digital economy. The addition of logistics assets is immediately yield-accretive to our diversified real estate portfolio and further enhances its risk profile.

“As a major institutional investor, we are also uniquely placed to drive income growth by deploying an active approach to asset management. This includes investing in digital technology and automation, to ensure that the assets that we acquire serve the evolving needs of tenants and remain future-proof.”

It was last year that Aldar first mentioned adding logistics assets to its area of interest. UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiative includes Dh50 billion of investments in a railway network for transporting goods and passengers across the UAE, which builds on the first phase of Etihad Rail. Abu Dhabi is also investing in additional ports and integrated industrial zones, including the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) and The Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD).

Aldar Logistics
The latest addition to the Aldar portfolio, the logistics unit will focus primarily on possibilities in the UAE, with the prospect to add Saudi Arabia and Egypt at a later stage.