More details emerge on Dubai airport financing

10 January 2017

Initial loan is being coordinated by HSBC

The Dubai government is expected to obtain commitments from banks over the next two weeks for a $3bn loan to back the expansion of the Al-Maktoum International airport and the construction of the exhibition centre for the Expo 2020, according to news agency Reuters.

The $3bn loan for the airport expansion is split between a $2bn conventional tranche and a $1bn-equivalent, local-currency Islamic tranche, the report said.

Banks can participate across the two tranches, where the loan will carry a seven-year maturity, Reuters said citing unnamed sources.

The Dubai Media Office confirmed in October 2016 that the government is aiming to raise an initial finance package of $3bn, both from conventional and Islamic sources, to fund its airport expansion plans.

It also said the Dubai Department of Finance, Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) will coordinate to raise finance jointly, with the UK’s HSBC serving as the financial adviser.

In December 2016, Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) executive chairman Khalifa al-Zaffin told MEED it has accepted the funding offer from the UK Export Finance for the expansion of the Al-Maktoum International airport, although negotiations are still ongoing on the terms of the final funding agreement.

It is understood that the UK credit agency offered $2bn of credit guarantee for the project.

The DACC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for $1.4bn funding deal in October 2015 with Italy’s Sace.

The $33bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International, including the ongoing expansion of the existing terminal at the airport will take the the airport’s capacity to close to 160 million passengers annually by 2025, and ultimately to more than 250 million by 2050.

The planned construction work includes the new terminal building, six nodes or concourses connected to the terminal by people-movers, and new runways.

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