Abu Dhabi Investment House Announces US$86 million Investment in Amwaj Islands in Kingdom of Bahrain
The Abu Dhabi-based financial institution, Abu Dhabi Investment House P.J.S.C. (ADIH) with increasing regional investment presence today announced investing US$86 million in Amwaj Islands, the artificial island off the coast of Muharraq in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as part of expanding its infrastructure development portfolio.
Announcing the details of the investment at a press conference, senior officials of ADIH said that the financial institution has acquired 600,000 square feet of land surrounding the lagoon on Amwaj Islands from Bahrain-based Ossis Property Developers, master developers of the US$1.5 billion property which will comprise a string of artificial islands.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Rashad Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of ADIH said: “Amwaj Islands is an iconic project and we are convinced that it is a unique investment opportunity for ADIH. As a sophisticated financial institution, ADIH closely monitors for investments that maximize returns for our clients and our partnership with Ossis Properties in their flag ship project is in line with our strategic growth plan.”
The development which will come up at the acquired land has been branded as `The Lagoon.’ `The Lagoon’ will comprise eight low-rise buildings which will house restaurants, cafes and various other retail outlets. The plots overlook the lagoon and have a one kilometre walk-way encircling the lagoon. The project is scheduled for completion by September 2007.
“The uniqueness about `The Lagoon’ is that it is the first development in the Kingdom of Bahrain which allows Bahraini and foreign retailers to own their units on a leasehold basis,” Mr. Janahi said.
“In a little over a year, ADIH has carved a niche for itself in providing innovative investment avenues that stand out in the long-term. Amwaj Islands is another such opportunity which we believe will add value to our growing portfolio of infrastructure and property investments,” he said.
ADIH had recently unveiled their first project in Lebanon, Beirut Gate, which will be developed at an investment of US$600 million in the Beirut Central District, commonly known as Solidere. A US$160 private placement for Beirut Gate has been received by regional investors with enthusiasm. ADIH was also involved in the private placement for the multi-billion dollar Energy City Qatar, closing a US$100 million offer successfully in the UAE market. It had also announced a Euro 144 million German property fund.
“The investment in Amwaj Islands will strengthen our foothold in Bahrain. Earlier, we had taken a substantial stake in the Islamic equipment leasing entity, First Leasing Bank (FLB) based in Bahrain through our first investment instrument, the Al Arabi Private Equity Fund,” Mr. Janahi added.
Commenting on ADIH’s investment, Mr. Saud Kanoo, Chairman of Ossis Property Developers said: “The partnership with ADIH reflects the regional enthusiasm towards Amwaj Islands and also endorses the potential of the project to generate and sustain returns. The project will certainly contribute to the increase in the contribution of Bahrain’s tourism sector to the national GDP and help catalyse regional economic growth in the long-run.”
“Amwaj Islands is being developed in three phases and the project has attracted overwhelming response from investors across the region and international markets. `The Lagoon’ will be located at a strategic location on Amwaj Islands with magnificent views of the lagoon, easy car access and plentiful parking,” he added.