ENBD REIT, a shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management, said it is pursuing the WELL Health Safety Rating for Al Thuraya Tower 1.
A G+29-storey high rise office building located at a prime location in Dubai Media City, Al Thuraya Tower 1 is the largest asset in its REIT portfolio.
ENBD REIT has appointed Savills to manage the certification process as part of a series of strategic upgrades to the skyscraper at Dubai Media City, a cornerstone asset in its portfolio.
The WELL Health Safety seal is part of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) WELL Building Standard (WELL), a roadmap for creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being, said a statement from Emirates NBD Asset Management.
The WELL Health Safety seal is awarded after an annual review of a building’s health and safety policies and protocols, it stated.
The rating and ongoing construction works at Al Thuraya Tower 1 are due to be completed in late 2021, ensuring that tenants benefit from the highest quality facilities, it added.
Anthony Taylor, Head of Real Estate, said: "Over the past year, the real estate sector has faced significant disruption resulting from challenging dynamics created by the Covid-19 pandemic. UAE residents typically spend over 90% of their time indoors, which means as landlords it is vital we invest in our assets to ensure this time is spent in the healthiest and most productive environment possible."
"New considerations must be taken into account for the conditions in which tenants now live and work, and landlords need to remain agile in seizing opportunities to repurpose and reimagine how assets are used," noted Taylor.
"We have taken this approach with one of our flagship assets in Dubai Media City, Al Thuraya Tower 1, and started major refurbishment works at the building. As part of the upgrades we’re also looking at how quality of life can be improved for tenants and look forward to working with Savills to achieve the WELL Health Safety Rating," he added.
Al Thuraya Tower 1 is the largest asset in the REIT’s portfolio by value, at $69 million, with the current investment for upgrading the building totalling $6.2 million.
It will offer revamped communal meeting spaces, a level 1 garden area and refurbished common areas along with an improved working environment that adheres to the specifications of the globally recognised certification.
ENBD REIT’s agile leasing strategy has created headroom for significant refurbishments across the portfolio, to upgrade common areas, bathrooms, lift efficiency, and other areas to improve accessibility, hygiene and efficiency for tenants.
In particular, the WELL Health Safety Rating prioritises tenant wellbeing and the surrounding environment, ensuring assets are equipped to protect occupants against Covid-19, through improved specifications for air quality and building materials that are more easily sanitised to prevent bacterial build-up.
"ENBD REIT have seized a major opportunity in the Dubai real estate market. With an increasing volume of Dubai’s backbone infrastructural real estate coming to the end of a 15 year life-cycle, Al Thuraya Tower 1 will be well positioned to attract prospective tenants with new lifts and future chiller upgrades along with several enhancements to tenant facilities," said Graham MacGregor of Savills.
"Infrastructural upgrades in tandem with the WELL Health Safety certification will elevate Al Thuraya Tower 1 to be one of very few buildings in Dubai that can guarantee access to state of the art facilities for tenants while ensuring that the comfort and well-being of the occupants has been made a top priority," he noted.
"The ongoing asset upgrades and WELL Health Safety certification are due for completion later in the year," he added.-TradeArabia News Service