Peter Wilding, Executive Director of Mubadala Real Estate & Hospitality accompanied Farglory Group (Farglory) chairman Teng-Hsiung Chao on a tour of Sowwah Island, the future site of four luxury waterfront towers to be developed by Taiwan's leading real estate developer.
On November 4, Mubadala Real Estate & Hospitality (MREH), a business unit of Mubadala Development Company, signed an agreement with Farglory to develop approximately 153,000 square meters of gross floor area of residential, commercial and mixed-use areas in several phases over the coming years, with the first of these expected to be completed in 2014.
This marks the first investment by an international developer on the Island and follows the commercial plot purchases by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank.
"Sowwah Island has already established itself within the Abu Dhabi market as the premium investment destination with leading companies such as National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank developing their headquarter buildings on site," said Wilding. "We are now seeing a growing interest among international investors who are seeking the right opportunity to be part of this development and the larger Abu Dhabi story."
He added, "Farglory is the first international investor in Sowwah Island and will deliver the first residential mixed use properties. This is a significant step in delivering the project's vision which is to create a thriving community that is home to 30,000 residents, with the new central business district at its heart."
Mr Teng-Hsiung Chao, Chairman of Farglory Group commented, "Farglory is a diverse conglomerate and we have different divisions that have experience in Greater China, America and France but we were deeply moved by the farsighted and visionary development on Sowwah Island." He added, "We believe that the little step we are making now signifies a major cooperation between Farglory and Mubadala and will strengthen the ties between Taiwan and Abu Dhabi."
Established in 1969, Farglory is a land development and construction company that operates in Taiwan, China, the United States, and France. One of the largest companies in Taiwan, Farglory has more than NTD 400 billion in total assets, and is active in a host of industries including real estate development and construction, finance and insurance, air cargo logistics, recreation and leisure, commercial development, charitable activities and medical care.
The purchase will be made via a joint venture company in which Abu Dhabi-based Privinvest Holding and the Rehfeldt Group will hold a 30% stake; Privinvest Holding, owned by Akram and Iskandar Safa, is an investment entity focusing on technology, service ventures and real estate in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and America.
Farglory's investment in Sowwah Island is the company's first expansion into the MENA region and is a strong testament to the growing prominence of Abu Dhabi in the region's economic landscape.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts are among the other top international companies that will be based at Sowwah Island.
"Sowwah Square, the heart of Sowwah Island, has already attracted many blue chip companies, and will consist of four Grade A, high-rise commercial towers flanking the new Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange building. All four towers are expected to be completed in early 2011, with a significant amount of the main infrastructure already substantially complete," said Wilding.
Sowwah Island is a 114-hectare island strategically located at the junction of Reem Island, Mina Zayed, and the existing downtown area of Abu Dhabi Island. In addition to featuring a dynamic combination of premium commercial and residential clusters, luxury business hotels, comprehensive retail, and medical facilities, the Island will also feature an integrated and multi-layered transport network to ensure efficient, convenient access from all areas of Abu Dhabi, including 13 new bridges and a mass transit system with both light and heavy rail.