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Meraas partners with Brookfield Asset Management for management of retail asset

Transaction is a significant regional investment for Brookfield and marks firm’s debut investment in retail sector

Meraas has signed a deal with Brookfield Asset Management that will see the creation of a new real estate platform, which will own and operate a portfolio of Meraas retail assets, including The Beach, City Walk and La Mer.

The deal is said to be valued at $1.4bn, the new venture will serve as a dedicated platform to explore growth opportunities in the retail sector across the UAE and the broader region, Meraas said.

According to the statement, Meraas boasts a portfolio of properties combining the natural environment, design-led aesthetics, and a relentless focus on customer experience, while Brookfield is a leading alternative asset manager with over $385bn in assets under management and a 120-year heritage as an owner and operator of businesses.

“We hope this is the start of a fruitful relationship that will contribute to delivering on the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the world’s leading investment destination whilst driving differentiation and innovation in the retail sector. Brookfield is one of the world’s largest investors in real estate with deep-rooted expertise across both developed and emerging markets. It has a reputation as one of the preeminent retail real estate investors globally, operating 168 retail locations and over 152m sqft of gross leasable area,” said Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman of Meraas.

The partnership aims to leverage Meraas’ regional brand recognition and experience in curating lifestyle-focused, mixed-used developments together with Brookfield’s deep retail experience and extensive global relationships with brand partners and retailers, said the statement.

Brookfield Property Group CEO Brian Kingston added, “Meraas’ high quality lifestyle assets combined with Brookfield’s global relationships and execution capabilities will create a best-in-class portfolio for tenants. We believe in the future of the Dubai real estate market and look forward to working together with Meraas to create the leading retail player in the regional market while also exploring value creation opportunities throughout the assets. The partnership will help reinforce Dubai as a premium retail destination and is yet another signal of confidence in its future prospects by the global investment community.”

The partnership is billed as a notable success for the emirate in connection with Dubai’s Strategic Vision Plan 2021 and associated government initiatives, which are aimed at promoting Dubai as a global business hub that attracts foreign direct investment.

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