Meydan raises Dh1 billion to get projects moving ahead of Expo 2020

The Dubai-based developer Meydan has raised Dh1 billion through a new Islamic financing facility and plans to use it to develop current and future projects, including Meydan One at Mohammed Bin Rashid City and its project on the banks of the extended Dubai Canal.

The funding was arranged by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (Adib), with support from Dubai Islamic Bank and Al Hilal Bank. It matures in 2018. It follows an earlier Dh1bn funding deal announced in June, also through Adib via a Dh700 million Sukuk and a Dh300m term loan – both of which expire in 2024.

“This facility assists in realising our funding objectives to build strategic partnerships with local and regional financial institutions to continue our growth and enable us to fulfil our business strategy of linking the world with the emirate of Dubai,” said Saeed Al Tayer, the chairman and chief executive of the Meydan Group.

Tirad Al Mahmoud, the chief executive of Adib, said the deal “evidences the results we are achieving through stepping up our corporate financing activity, with a particular focus on high-growth companies and the real estate sector”.

Meydan recently issued a tender seeking bids from contractors to build the 711 metre tower at Meydan One and unveiled more detailed plans for the site’s mall, which will contain 529 shops, including an 11,200 square metre hypermarket.

The mall and the tower were announced in August 2015 as part of a 5 million square foot project that is also set to contain a marina, a huge civic plaza, an arena and the world’s longest ski slope. The tower, mall, civic plaza and a 4 kilometre canal are due for completion by 2020.

Alongside this, Meydan is part of a joint venture with Meraas that is responsible for the development of about 14 million sq ft of hospitality, retail, leisure and residential property along the banks of the extended Dubai Canal. The project will have an estimated value of between Dh30bn to Dh35bn.

Simon Moon, the chief executive of Atkins Middle East, said given the level of investment that the Dubai Government has put into the canal and the surrounding infrastructure, “it would make absolute sense” to bring forward this development ahead of Expo 2020.

“I have no insight into how they are going to unlock the land around that but I can imagine that next year is the year they unlock that and the back end of the next financial year [March 2018] is when those projects start to come through. I’d be very surprised if that wasn’t well developed for Expo,” Mr Moon said.

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