ENBD REIT pursues WELL Health Safety Rating at Al Thuraya Tower 1
ENBD REIT, a Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited, announced that it is pursuing the WELL Health Safety Rating for Al Thuraya Tower 1.
Savills has been appointed by ENBD REIT to manage the certification process as part of a series of strategic upgrades to Al Thuraya Tower 1 in Dubai Media City.
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. The WELL Health Safety seal is awarded after an annual review of a building’s health and safety policies and protocols.
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.
Anthony Taylor, Head of Real Estate at Emirates NBD Asset Management, said: “Over the past year, the real estate sector has faced significant disruption resulting from challenging dynamics created by the 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 considered 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.”
He added: “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.”
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.
Graham MacGregor from Savills also commented: “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.
“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.”
The ongoing asset upgrades and WELL Health Safety certification are due for completion later in the year. Al Thuraya Tower 1 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.
Al Thuraya Tower 1 is the largest asset in the REIT’s portfolio by value, at USD69 million, with the current investment for upgrading the building totalling USD6.2 million.