Al Thuraya 1, Dubai Media City
Al Thuraya Tower 1 at Dubai Media City is now valued at Dh283 million and takes up the biggest chunk of ENBD REIT's portfolio. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The real estate fund operator ENBD REIT has brought in outside help to do a full-scale refurbishment of Al Thuraya Tower 1 - its largest asset by value - located in Dubai Media City. Savills has been appointed as the project manager and cost consultant, while Bluehaus Group has been appointed to oversee design and MEP works.

“Having delivered on a number of our short-term priorities for the year, we are turning our attention to bolstering occupancy and encouraging longer-term lease agreements at one of our flagship assets," said Khaled Al Faheem, Board and Investment Committee Member of ENBD REIT. "After various initiatives to navigate market headwinds, including a rent-relief scheme and a hedging agreement to lower our cost of debt, this refurbishment represents a strategic investment to improve the attractiveness of the asset as a home for businesses."

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A significant asset

Construction of the building was completed in June 2005, and has been part of NBD REIT’s office portfolio since November 2006. Valued at Dh283 million, the tower accounts for 20 per cent of its total portfolio value (as of June 30).

Al Thuraya Tower 1 consists of two basement levels, ground floor retail units, five floors of parking and 24 floors of leasable office space, for a net leasable area of 208,565 square feet. The refurbishment hopes to boost occupancy and Savills expects to complete its work in 12 months.

Extensive upgrades will be made to fire escape stairs, chillers and lifts as well as car park refurbishments which will include new signage, re-surfacing, lighting and painting. A further objective is to incorporate measures to ensure the building operates as a virus-free environment for occupants, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simon Denham, Head of Building & Projects Consultancy Middle East at Savills, said: “ENBD REIT are among the first of our clients in Dubai to seize the opportunity to enhance and improve their asset, and take advantage of the seismic shift in occupier requirements in the wake of the global pandemic. This is an exciting opportunity to upgrade a building that has huge potential, and ensuring the future of the building for the next 15 to 20 years."