Gulf Capital sets up $50m GCC realty venture
Abu Dhabi, June 15, 2009
Gulf Capital on Monday launched a new regional real estate development venture with an initial capital of Dh180 million ($50 million) that will focus primarily on high-end, mixed-use real estate destination developments in the Gulf.
Gulf Capital is one of the region’s leading alternative asset management firms, and related companies, the most prominent privately-owned US-based real estate firm.
The new pan-GCC company, “Gulf Related”, will be based in Abu Dhabi and will identify and pursue marquee large-scale mixed-use real estate development opportunities, initially in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, followed by a Middle East and Northern Africa (Mena) wide regional expansion at a later stage.
Gulf Related’s initial capitalization is Dh180 million ($50 million) and is expected to rise to over Dh1 billion by 2012.
Related cemented its relationship with the Mena region and increased its global prominence in 2007 when the company aligned with an elite consortium of international partners through a $1.4 billion equity and debt investment by Goldman Sachs, MSD Capital, Kuwait Investment Authority, The Olayan Group and Mubadala Development Company.
Gulf Related’s senior management will be led by Kenneth A. Himmel, president and CEO of Related Urban, the mixed-use division of Related Companies.
Related Companies and Ken Himmel pioneered the concept of mixed-use urban development beginning in the 1970s with Himmel developing such destinations as Water Tower Place and 730 North Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts and Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia, and Related developing such iconic developments as Time Warner Center in New York City and CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The new joint venture will look at multi-phase master-planned mixed-use development opportunities in urban centers as well as larger-scale community developments organized around new town centers.
These projects will capitalize on Related’s unparalleled track record in creating unique urban experiences that combine the energy and vitality of an urban destination with local lifestyle and culture.
Residential projects will offer both affordable and luxury villas as well as high-rise buildings. Related has extensive expertise in mixed-use projects that seamlessly integrate indigenous architecture with exciting retail, restaurant, entertainment, hotel, office and residential uses.
Commenting on the new venture, Hareb Al Darmaki, chairman of Gulf Capital, said: 'The GCC enjoys a robust macro-economic outlook, significant liquidity and a young growing population.'
'These, coupled with a positively turning inflection point in the real estate and construction markets, make the timing of launching a first-class regional real estate venture with world-class partners highly opportune. Gulf Capital’s Board decided to expand into this attractive real estate asset class by partnering with the most experienced and capable developer.'
'We are fortunate to have found the ideal partner in Related Companies, which boasts an outstanding track record and is the best-in-class real estate firm in the United States,' Al Darmaki added.
Stephen M. Ross, chairman, founder and CEO of Related Companies said it has always maintained an extremely disciplined approach to both the markets of operation and the product types.
'We have been studying the Gulf market and exploring the opportunities it presents for the past few years and we are thrilled to have found a solid regional partner in Gulf Capital with whom we will jointly pursue strategic real estate development opportunities in the region.'
'It is our firm belief that the GCC is one of the fastest growing and most promising regions in the world and we are confident that together we will identify and unlock select exemplary and s