Pramerica invests in Dubai

The real estate investor is forward purchasing an office development in Dubai Investment Park which hopes to let space to foreign firms setting up in the region.

A consortium of investors including Pramerica Real Estate Investors has agreed to buy the European Business Centre in Dubai Investment Park.

Pramerica, the real estate investment arm of US financial services group Prudential Financial, has teamed up with conglomerate The Al Amiri Group and German real estate broker Kleindienst & Partners to buy the development aimed at housing European firms looking to set up offices in the region.

The European Business Centre is a four story building of approximately 25,000 square meters of predominantly office space. It is due for completion at the end of the year.

German bank Hypo Real Estate has provided $82.5 million of finance for the acquisition via a Sharia-compliant facility. It is the first time Hypo has lent money in Dubai, possibly suggesting an increase in the leverage available to MENA investors. Traditionally it has been hard to get a high degree of leverage for Middle East acquisitions in the past.

Dubai Investment Park is a 3,200 hectare mixed use industrial, business, residential and recreational development. The development has been granted the land on a 99 year headlease from the Dubai Government. Dubai Investment Park has been issuing long term leases of30, 60 or 99 years to developers & owner occupiers who can then construct buildings complying with the masterplan for the area.

Private equity real estate firm Landmark Real Estate Investment Management has also been acquiring property in this particular development. In March of 2006 the firm used its first fund to invest in a 70,000 square foot warehouse facility, a commercial development site and a hotel development site in Dubai Investment Park. The commercial development site is located next to the European Business Centre.