Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has arranged a £20 million (Dh118.02 million) structured Islamic financing transaction to fund the development of Westbourne House, a prime 1980s commercial property in central London, combining office and retail space.
The deal marks ADIB’s debut in London’s real estate market at a time when the British government is promoting the city as a centre for Islamic finance. British Prime Minister David Cameron told a gathering of political and business leaders on Tuesday that he wanted London to “stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”
ADIB’s financing package for Westbourne House was specifically tailored to meet the investors’ aims of acquiring, refurbishing and reselling high-value luxury properties to overseas buyers.
Arif Usmani, global head of wholesale banking at ADIB, said: “ADIB welcomes the increasingly high profile role being played by the UK’s financial services sector to encourage the global acceptance and growth of Islamic finance products and services. Resilient demand from international buyers for prime residential real estate has underpinned the performance of London’s property market which has outpaced most other markets in recent years. ADIB appreciates the value of building strategic partnerships with investors in international markets, which enable us to extend our global reach and to identify similar opportunities in London and other key international locations for our clients.”
ADIB opened its office at One Hyde Park in London in May 2012, and was the first UAE-based bank providing Islamic financial services to be licensed to operate in the UK, being one of just five of these that are fully Sharia-compliant.