Aldar to launch first RE fund at $1bn

Abu Dhabi's largest property firm by market value is eyeing acquisitions in the US and Europe.

Aldar Properties plans to launch a Dh3.67 billion ($1 billion) real estate fund next year, its chief executive said this week.

Aldar, a state-controlled property firm owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, will raise the fund to invest in the retail, office, hospitality and residential sectors, its chief executive Ronald Barrott told reporters at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi conference. He added that the firm is currently in the process of structuring the fund, and that it would likely target European and US assets. He did not elaborate further, but said the company will also look to the debt markets this year to help finance expansion plans.

Aldar has been active in Abu Dhabi for some time but it has recently begun looking beyond the Middle East for acquisitions. It has been at the forefront of a construction boom in Abu Dhabi, but has recently partnered with local players in Malaysia and Khazakhstan. Aldar was part of the Mubadala consortium that announced earlier this week an investment in a mixed-used project in Johar province in Malaysia. It also has a six million square meter project in Kazakhstan. The Times newspaper reported last month that Aldar is considering a bid for British real estate companies – including Hammerson, Land Securities and British Land.

Aldar has about $70 billion worth of projects, including the Al Raha Gardens, Yas Island and the Al Gurm Resort in the UAE. It is also the main developer for the UAE’s new Ferrari theme park.