Emirates REIT completes Jebel Ali school

Emirates REIT, the UAE’s first regulated Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and listed on NASDAQ Dubai, today announced that the new campus of the Jebel Ali School (‘the School’) has been  successfully completed.  The school, which is located in the Akoya development in Dubailand, has already welcomed students for the start of the new academic year.

In August 2015, Emirates REIT agreed with Jebel Ali School, one of the oldest and most experienced British curriculum schools in the Emirates, to build and enter into a 26-year lease for their new school campus. Emirates REIT acquired the freehold land plot from Damac Crescent Properties for AED 98.5 million, and immediately leased it to Jebel Ali School, providing an initial net income in excess of 10% of the acquisition costs of the plot.

The Jebel Ali School has now been valued at AED 304 million, a post-completion valuation gain of AED 47 million (+18.3%) since 30 June 2016. The Jebel Ali School now represents 11% of the REIT’s total portfolio value.

Sylvain Vieujot, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Emirates REIT said: “We are pleased to see the school fully ready on schedule. We worked with a strong contractor and other partners that enabled a remarkable completion time. Education sector assets now account for approximately 24% of the current income of Emirates REIT’s portfolio, bringing very stable rental income and long-term secure cash flows. We wish the school every success in its new home.”

Clive Read, Chairman, Board of Governors, Jebel Ali School, said: “Emirates REIT has delivered a modern and well-designed campus which will allow Jebel Ali School to offer a 21st Century education in an exceptional learning environment. Although we increased student capacity by 25% from the previous school, the demand has been very high and we already have a substantial waiting list in a number of year levels.  Our partnership with Emirates REIT has proven a great success and we look forward to a long and steady relationship over the 25-year lease term.”

Jebel Ali Primary School, rated a tier “A” school by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority has been widely regarded as one of the best British Curriculum schools in the UAE. It was established by a royal decree in 1977 to meet the educational needs of the community. Moving from Jebel Ali Village to a larger site inside the Akoya development allows the School to offer secondary education, in addition to the foundation and primary education it currently offers. The new educational facility, renamed Jebel Ali School, will have a capacity for approximately 1,800 students by 2022. Demand for the School will come from Akoya, a prime residential development expected to house over 44,000 residents when complete in 2018, as well as surrounding communities such as Arabian Ranches, Mudon, Motor City and Dubai Sports City. 

The new school was designed by a team of leading architects, construction engineers, and educationalists and has built up area of approximately 21,000 sqm. The new campus consists of state of the art facilities, including an auditorium, indoor sports centre, a 25m competition and teaching pool, science and technology laboratories, a lecture theatre, art, drama and music facilities, and a number sports fields. The eco-friendly campus has its own water recycling plant, solar panels and smart lighting, and HVAC system.