SKAI Holdings secures funding for Palm Jumeirah project

Chinese bank ICBC invests $201mn in SKAI’s Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah project.

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Dubai-based real estate company SKAI Holdings recently announced the procurement of financing for its $1bn worth Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah.

The financing agreement for $201mn was arranged by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), making it their first financing deal for a hospitality project in the Middle East.

“Since the commencement of our operations in the UAE in 2008, the total assets of ICBC have doubled year on year,” said Zhou Xiadong, CEO of ICBC Middle East. “ICBC shall continue to provide support for the development of the UAE economy.

“We believe this opportunity is an ideal step for ICBC to enter into Dubai’s growing real estate industry,” Xiadong added.

The announcement is in line with SKAI Holdings’ previous statement saying it would form a special purpose vehicle with the project’s main contractor, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (Middle East) (L.L.C) (CSCECME).

“An increasing number of Chinese investors are looking to the Middle East and the UAE in particular as they seek to diversify their assets and investment portfolio,” said Yu Tao, president and CEO of CSCECME. “The Emirates’ strategic location, its strong infrastructure and growing real estate sector means it is set to become a vital area of growth for Chinese investment.”

The structural works of the Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah are underway ahead of schedule, with project completion scheduled for 2016. The development is one of SKAI Holdings’ largest in the region.

“I am extremely bullish about Dubai’s hospitality sector,” said Kabir Mulchandani, group CEO of SKAI Holdings Ltd. LCC. “The UAE’s successful Expo 2020 bid, together with its growing population and renewed economic outlook will see its tourism industry continue to flourish.”

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