Dubai gets closer to airport financing deal

06 February 2017

The emirate has yet to sign the final deal for expansion of $33bn aviation and logistics hub

Dubai is getting closer to signing a deal to secure a $3bn multi-tranche loan to fund the expansion of its $33bn aviation and logistics hub of Dubai World Central, which is home to Al-Maktoum International airport.

The terms of the deal have been agreed but the final deal has yet to be signed, according to sources familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as information is private.

MEED in November reported that the facility, which will have conventional and Islamic components, is being arranged by Dubai Department of Finance, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC). The UK’s HSBC is the financial adviser on the transaction.

The loan, which includes a $2bn conventional tranche, also has a AED3.67bn ($1bn) sharia-compliant portion.

Dubai agreed an interest of 200 basis points, over the London Interbank Offered Rate on the seven-year conventional component while a margin of 200 basis points over the Emirates Interbank Offered Rate could be paid on the Islamic facility, news agency Bloomberg cited people familiar with the situation as saying.

“Dubai remains firmly committed to the development of Al-Maktoum International airport and to the growth of the global aviation sector, and this initial $3bn transaction to support Dubai’s ambitious 2025 passenger capacity targets is testament to our belief,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee said in November.

Dubai’s two airports aim to reach a capacity of 146 million passengers by 2025, when its flagship airline Emirates moves to Al-Maktoum International.

The $33bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International airport will make it the biggest in the world by 2050 with the capacity to handle 255 million passengers a year. The planned construction work includes the new terminal building, six nodes or concourses connected to the terminal by people-movers, and new runways. An expansion to the existing terminal at the airport is also under way.

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) is the project owner. For consultants, Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) has been appointed for the design and supervision of the passenger terminal building and other landside areas.

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