Stock Index Tower - Emirates REIT
Hot property... The Index Tower remains the flagship in the Emirates REIT portfolio. Will the company seek other divestments? Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The fund manager of Emirates REIT is picking up Dh40 million from selling half of an office floor at its flagship property, the Index Tower at DIFC. The shell-and-core space is priced at Dh3,350 a square foot.

The proceeds from the sale will come in quite handy for Equitativa, the fund manager, as it tries to get Emirates REIT back from a Dh897 million loss sustained in 2020. Market watchers have been talking about more selective disposals of assets, which include educational and healthcare facilities as well as industrial.

Upon completion of the office divestment, the property fund remains the principal owner within Index Tower wit 79 per cent of the office floors.

Through the new sale, the Index Tower’s occupancy stands at 59 per cent and up from 50 per cent end 2020. Since the start of this year, more than 24,700 square feet of the Tower’s office area has been leased, mainly as fully fitted and furnished premium offices from 120 to 290 square metres.

The sale “demonstrates a steady return of investor confidence to the Dubai property market in the post COVID-19 environment, and especially in high quality, prime real estate assets,” said Sylvain Vieujot, Group Chairman of Equitativa. “We believe the REIT is increasingly well positioned to implement its turnaround strategy and deliver on the many opportunities across its portfolio.”

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Back to drawing board

Emirates REIT and Equitativa were in the spotlight all through the last fortnight over a plan to bring in some changes to its 2017 $400 million debt offering. The plan was dropped after encountering string opposition from an influential group of investors in the Sukuk.

At the time, Equitativa said it will continue with making alternate plans to get back into profitability and long-term growth.