Abu Dhabi fund looks to invest in Europe, US, and emerging markets

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 5:06am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 5:06am

Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure, a unit of Abu Dhabi's investment fund, is eyeing the United States, Europe and emerging markets to invest in property as it exits developing real estate in its home market, a company executive said.

"We made a conscious shift in strategy where we don't want to be a developer and compete with property developers. We will focus more on being a real estate investor as part of a new strategy," Ali Eid Almheiri, executive director of Mubadala Real Estate, said.

A new strategy that will be in place by next year will indicate how much capital the company will invest, he said.

"We're looking at the US, also Europe - strong, A-class cities. Then we will expand to emerging markets," he said, adding they will deploy capital in the UAE and internationally. Mubadala is the single largest shareholder in local developer Aldar Properties with a holding of 19.15 per cent.

Abu Dhabi's two biggest property firms, Aldar and Sorouh Real Estate, agreed on a merger in January in an attempt to revive the emirate's battered real estate sector, creating a business with US$13 billion in assets.

The property market in the capital of the United Arab Emirates is yet to fully recover from the downturn that began in 2008.

"I think the property market is recovering. While it may not be recovering at the same pace that it went down, we see some recovery," said Almheiri.

"We see steady growth in people buying homes. Mortgage rates are low, so this motivates people to buy property. We are not out of the woods yet but people are becoming more comfortable," he said.