Masdar enters strategic agreement with Emirates NBD Asset Management to provide services for UAE’s first ‘green’ REIT

20 JAN 2021
News Investments

Sustainable real estate investment trust (REIT) established at Abu Dhabi Global Market under the first private REIT regime in MENA
The Masdar Green REIT has received approval to commence activities from ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 20 January 2021: Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company and a pioneer in sustainable urban development, has partnered with Emirates NBD Asset Management to receive management services for the UAE’s first sustainable real estate investment trust – the Masdar Green REIT. Together, Masdar Capital Management (a recently established FSRA Regulated Fund Manager) and Emirates NBD Asset Management bring significant experience and expertise in sustainable real estate and property asset management to the partnership. 

Masdar announced it was launching the REIT, the first in the UAE to invest solely in sustainable real estate projects, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) in January last year. The Masdar Green REIT has been established at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) as a Qualified Investor Fund (QIF) and offers an attractive opportunity for professional investors through private placement to invest in a unique portfolio of stable, income-producing sustainable real estate assets. Masdar also confirmed that the REIT has now received approval from ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority to begin operations.

The Masdar Green REIT’s portfolio currently includes four commercial properties within Masdar City, the pioneering sustainable urban development project, and technology and innovation hub, in Abu Dhabi. All of the properties consume approximately 40 percent less electricity and water than comparable buildings in Abu Dhabi – giving them a rating of three Pearls or above on Abu Dhabi’s Estidama Pearl Building Rating System, while one is also LEED Platinum certified. 

“The Masdar Green REIT is the first of its kind in the region and further demonstrates Masdar’s commitment to pioneering sustainable development,” said Abdulla Balalaa, Acting Executive Director, Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar City. “Investors are increasingly looking for ‘responsible’ investment opportunities and evaluate companies based on specific environmental, social and governance (‘ESG’) practices criteria. The Masdar Green REIT gives investors that option by investing in sustainable income-generating real estate assets, with a primary focus in Masdar City. This REIT also provides a vehicle through which third-party, sustainable developers can monetize their assets, attracting both real estate developers to Masdar City, and aspiring local and international sustainable investors.”

Steve Corrin, SEO of Emirates NBD Asset Management, said, “We are delighted to be bringing together two of the UAE’s strongest brand names to work on the Masdar Green REIT, an exciting new investment product for the UAE’s REIT market. The initial portfolio has been created with global ESG principles in mind to offer investors the highest levels of sustainability ratings as well as attractive rental yields in line with investor expectations. Emirates NBD Asset Management, with its long history of institutional real estate asset management in the UAE provides investors with comfort that the Masdar Green REIT will be professionally resourced and operated to international best-practices.”

The Masdar Green REIT will facilitate more sustainable real estate assets coming to market by providing institutional funding to support the future expansion of Masdar City through new sustainable developments. The Masdar Green REIT also marks great progress in bringing the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration to life, which was signed in 2019 by 25 public and private sector entities, including Masdar and the ADGM, and is aimed at establishing a healthy and sustainable finance industry that supports the UAE in attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Emmanuel Givanakis, Deputy CEO of the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority, said, “As an international financial centre, ADGM has been tireless in championing the region’s sustainable finance agenda and is pleased to support the advancement of the UAE’s first green REIT. Working closely with financial and energy industries stakeholders, including Masdar and Emirates NBD, we seek to encourage and facilitate further advancements and increased investments in the field of sustainable finance. The FSRA is committed to providing its business community and partners with the ecosystem and regulatory support to develop and achieve innovative investment solutions across the UAE.”

Currently active in more than 30 countries, Masdar has been advancing the commercialization and deployment of renewable energy, sustainable urban development and clean technologies, to address global sustainability challenges since 2006. In 2018, Masdar signed the first green revolving credit facility in the Middle East, helping to support its investments in global clean technology and sustainable real estate projects.