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Dubai Holding Real Estate Arm Signs $300m Agreement With UAE Banks

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

02 October 2006

Sama Dubai, the international real estate investment and development arm of Dubai Holding, has announced it has successfully closed a 3-year $300 million loan facility with a consortium of 8 leading banks in the United Arab Emirates.

The funding will be used towards providing part equity contributions for Sama Dubai's ambitious international expansion strategy.

Emirates Bank International (EBI) is the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and book runner for the deal. The other participating banks include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Arab National Bank, Bank Saudi Fransi, Commercial Bank of Dubai, National Bank of Fujairah, Dubai Bank, and Bank Muscat SAOG.

Commenting, Rick Pudner, CEO Emirates Bank Group said that the syndication deal reflection of the confidence the regional banking sector has in Sama Dubai's global investment strategy.

"We are very pleased to have been mandated as lead managers and bring this deal to successful fruition. The syndication has attracted strong interest from the financial sector. We believe the arrangement will provide Sama Dubai with greater financial flexibility for its future expansion," he noted.

Sama Dubai works with local, regional, and international partners to maximize returns through leveraging efficiencies across operations and financing. Earlier this year, Sama Dubai established a joint venture with Emirates Bank Group to create multiple funds for the real estate sector.

"The agreement represents Sama Dubai's debut in the international syndicated loan markets," explained Farhan Faraidooni, CEO, Sama Dubai.

"The overwhelming support from the banks will allow us to profile Sama Dubai for further deals in the future and drive our highly ambitious global development goals. It also provides timely momentum to identify new investment opportunities in international markets that demonstrate a high potential for growth," Faraidooni added.

As part of Dubai Holding, Sama Dubai is aiming to becoming the largest premium real estate developer in the region and one of the top five in the world. Its broad portfolio of business models includes mixed use towers, industrial parks, marinas, resorts and spas, self-contained urban development, residential communities, mega malls and business parks.

Dubai Holding was launched in 2004 to consolidate the various mega projects in Dubai that were created over the past five years as well as research, identify and execute future major projects that will benefit the emirate and the region.

It currently consists of 20 companies in business sectors as diverse as media, healthcare, finance, real estate, energy and education, and has promoted Dubai's role as an international centre for business, commerce, industry and tourism.

Some of Dubai Holding's projects are Burj Al Arab, Dubailand, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and the Jumeirah Group.

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