SKAI closes Dhs 1.1bn finance package for Dubai Viceroy hotels

The syndicate for the dual Islamic and conventional facility is backed by a mixture of local and Chinese banks

Real estate and hospitality group SKAI has closed a $300m syndicated finance package with regional and Chinese banks for its Dubai Viceroy projects.

The funds will be used to support the construction of the Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah and Viceroy Dubai Jumeirah Village projects.

The syndicate for the dual Islamic and conventional facility is backed by the world’s largest lender by assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Other backers include Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Minsheng Banking Corp, Invest Bank and African International Bank.

“This transaction received Dhs 2.2bn ($585m) in subscriptions, representing an overwhelming interest from some of the world’s foremost financial institutions. The syndication also demonstrates a firm commitment to Dubai’s growing hospitality sector. Construction work on our flagship project, Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah, is progressing well and is currently six-months ahead of schedule, setting it on track for completion in the second half of 2016,” said SKAI group CEO Kabir Mulchandani.

SKAI said the deal was a sign of growing Chinese interest in the UAE. Trade between the two countries reached $47.6bn in 2014, with the Gulf States home to more than 4,000 Chinese companies.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation is the main contractor and a key investor in both projects. The firm has completed 75 per cent of the Palm Jumeirah project and 15 per cent of the Jumeirah Village project, due to open in 2016 and 2017 respectively, according to SKAI.

“We remain confident about Dubai’s hospitality sector, which is backed by significant fundamentals such as Expo 2020, a growing population and continued investment in the key infrastructure,” said ICBC Dubai (DIFC) Branch deputy general manager Zhang Junguo.

SKAI announced it would be upgrading its Jumeirah Village Circle project to a five star luxury property and rebrand it Viceroy Dubai Jumeirah Village Circle in March.

The Dhs 1.37bn tower will feature 247-hotel rooms and suites as well as 221 one-and-two bedroom hotel apartments and 33 four-bedroom hotel apartments all with private pools.

The Palm Jumeirah project is valued at Dhs 4.05bn, with 477 rooms and suites and 221 serviced apartments planned.