The participating banks were DIB, ABN Amro, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, DEPFA Bank, DZ Bank, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered Bank and West LB. Galadari & Associates acted as legal adviser to the Dubai government; Denton Wilde Sapte advised the banks.

‘The structuring, with a ijara facility taken first and a sukuk issued later, was dictated by timing, because the funds are needed quickly to proceed with the airport expansion,’

says a banker involved in the deal.

DCA issued a $1,000 million sukuk in late 2004, also to raise funds for the airport expansion. The five-year instrument, at the time the biggest-ever, was priced at 45 bp (MEED 12:11:04).

The Dubai government is increasingly looking to sharia-compliant financing for its projects. The Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation in early 2006 launched a $3,500 million convertible sukuk, partly to finance the acquisition by DP World of the UK’s P&O (MEED 20:1:06).