JLL advises on largest Abu Dhabi commercial real estate transaction in 2017

JLL announced that it advised the owner on the sale of International Tower, a 26-storey Grade A office tower located within Abu Dhabi's Capital Centre district, to Aldar Properties

January 22, 2018

The sale marked the largest commercial real estate transaction in 2017 and was one of JLL's five largest asset transactions in the region in 2017, totalling to over AED 2 billion in value.

Completed in 2012 by SinoGulf Real Estate Investments, the property is a LEED Gold rated commercial office tower with a gross leasable area of circa 40,000 square meters and a built up area of 91,000 square metres.  Located in close proximity to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the property is let to a diversified mix of high profile global tenants including AECOM, Wood Group, and McKinsey & Co.

Gaurav Shivpuri, Head of Capital Markets in MENA, JLL said: "This is by far the largest sale of a real estate asset in Abu Dhabi in recent times, which confirms that there remains  strong interest amongst investors for well-built, let and managed properties in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We will soon begin the marketing of a high quality residential asset on the island and expect it to have similar strong investor interest, as the market begins to stabilise after a few years of challenging conditions."

JLL further noted that there remains a scarcity of quality income generating real estate for sale in the region that is appropriately structured priced and marketed. As the market matures, buyers become more institutional, and transaction sizes increase, there will be greater need for specialist advisors that can structure and market complex real estate transactions through transparent and arms-length processes.  

Besides this sale, JLL advised on four other large asset transactions in the region in 2017, totalling to over AED 2 billion in value. This was across asset classes including offices, multifamily residential and education. The capitalization rates on these transactions ranged from 6.5% to 8.5%, which was driven by the asset class, its location, the duration of leases and the ownership constraints.

Gaurav added "In addition to advising on asset transactions in the GCC, the focus for the team in 2018 will be on structuring debt transactions for new developments as well as interest-only refinancing for income generating assets".

Mr. Abdul Kader Monla & Mr. George Cavalli, directors at JLL were involved in the above sales.