ENBD REIT, the Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management, has appointed Savills and Bluehaus Group for the refurbishment of the $77.1m (AED283m) Al Thuraya Tower 1 in Dubai Media City.
The programme is a strategic measure to improve the building’s leasability and boost occupancy. As part of it, Savills will work as the project manager and cost consultant, while Bluehaus Group will oversee design and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) works.
Construction of the building was completed in June 2005, and ENBD REIT acquired it in November 2006. Additionally, tower accounts for 20% of ENBD REIT’s total portfolio value as on 30 June 2020.
Al Thuraya Tower 1 comprises two basement levels, ground floor retail units, five floors of parking, and 24 floors of leasable office space, with a total Net Leasable Area (NLA) of 19,376.2m2.
The project looks to improve Weighted Average Unexpired Lease Terms (WAULT) by attracting long-term tenants to the REIT’s assets, while engaging with current tenants who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 through a rent relief programme.
“Our intention is to foster long-term relationships with tenants across the portfolio, and we believe that these upgrades are necessary to delivering on our commitment to a first-class experience for occupants,” said Khaled Al Faheem, board and Investment Committee member of ENBD REIT.
“In Savills and Bluehaus Group, we have two highly-respected partners with whom we look forward to completing this project.”
According to ENBD REIT, the areas identified for refurbishment have been selected based on various criteria, including aesthetic improvement, and material upgrades to building infrastructure to align it to the standards of newer, nearby buildings.
Upgrades will be made to the foyer and entrance of the building, as well as to lighting and tiling in corridors throughout the tower. Common bathrooms will also have an improved layout and styling, along with provision for people of determination.
Additionally, extensive upgrades will be made to fire escape stairs, chillers and lifts as well as parking bays, which will include new signage, re-surfacing, lighting, and painting.
Talking about the project, Simon Denham, head of building & projects consultancy Middle East at Savills, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to upgrade a building that has huge potential, and incorporate some forward-thinking sanitation and COVID-compliance concepts, as well as major plant and infrastructure upgrades, ensuring the future of the building for the next 15 to 20 years.
“The Savills project management team will complete the turnaround of the building within a 12-month timeframe, while the Savills cost management division are committed to generating maximum impact from the client budget.”
Meanwhile, James Coburn, managing director & partner at Bluehaus Group, said: “Bluehaus Group’s engineering and interior design disciplines will work closely with the ENBD REIT and Savills teams to create a first mover asset transformation of Al Thuraya Tower 1.”
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