Abu Dhabi's Bloom CEO 'seriously' eyeing Dubai merger

Abu Dhabi's Bloom CEO 'seriously' eyeing Dubai merger
Sameh Muhtadi has left the door open to a Dubai merger.
Published: 17 May 2018 - 2:07 a.m.
By: Oscar Rousseau

Bloom Holding is exploring the potential of a Dubai merger, chief executive officer Sameh Muhtadi exclusively told Construction Week.

The Abu Dhabi developer owns a big land bank in the emirate and is open to the idea of working with a company that owns land in Dubai, but not in Abu Dhabi.

Muhtadi suggested any deal would be on quid pro quo basis.

“If there is a Dubai developer that has the land that seeks to have access to Abu Dhabi, we want access to Dubai as well,” Muhtadi told Construction Week.

“If those situations present themselves that would be very interesting. We’ll explore those possibilities very seriously. There is nothing eminent, but if there is an opportunity we will look at it seriously.”

Muhtadi spoke to Construction Week on the fringes of Abu Dhabi Cityscape in April, where he raised the prospect of Bloom Holding entering into some form of agreement with a Dubai firm that owns significant land assets.

“We are not planning any [mergers or acquisitions], but we are looking at it seriously,” he said.

“If a situation presents itself that makes sense and it bodes well for a potential merger we are open to examining that opportunity.”

Muhtadi told Construction Week the business had been cleared to build a 2.2km² mixed-used master development near Abu Dhabi International Airport. 

Mergers and acquisitions in the UAE construction sector appear to have increased this year, with a number of high-profile agreements.

The $8.1bn (AED30bn) joint venture (JV) between UAE giants Emaar and Aldar that was agreed in March is one of the most prominent partnerships.

Under the JV, the Emaar and Aldar will focus on one project in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi.

A master-planned destination called Saadiyat Grove will be built in the Cultural District of Al Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Expected to open in 2021, the mixed-use project will feature 2,000 residential units, two hotels, and 400 serviced apartments.

The Emaar-Aldar JV will also work on a waterfront development project in Dubai called Emaar Beachfront.

Emaar Beachfront will be made up of approximately 7,000 residential units, which will have access to 1.5km stretch of sandy beach.

Nakheel recently formed a JV with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) to develop its first project outside Dubai.

The JV was agreed in April 2018 and it will see Nakheel and Shurooq work together ona $20.4m (AED75m) retail centre in Sharjah. Preliminary design work for the shopping mall has already started.

Separately, a trio of property projects valued at $735m (AED2.7bn) are to be developed through a joint venture between Shurooq and Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills.

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