Peninsula and Waha Land: A blueprint for the game-changing ‘Operation 300bn’

Real estate investment company Peninsula supports the UAE’s vision of doubling the manufacturing sector with best-in-class warehouse facilities

The ALMARKAZ Industrial Development.

Operation 300bn is set to be a game changer in transforming the UAE’s manufacturing sector into a global powerhouse. The 10-year industrial strategy announced last year by the UAE government seeks to more than double the GDP share of the manufacturing sector from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031. The bold initiative includes the ‘Make It In The Emirates’ campaign to expand the UAE’s manufacturing base by encouraging local and international investors to manufacture in the UAE – this is further supported by the National In-Country Value (ICV) Program, which aims to boost local demand for locally produced goods and services.

To achieve its goal of doubling the size of the manufacturing sector, the UAE will need the requisite infrastructure, of which high-quality logistics and industrial warehousing is a key component. The ready availability of high-quality warehouses to support manufacturing and the storage of components and finished goods, whether for export or domestic consumption, is critical to success. Additionally, the proportion of Grade A warehousing in Abu Dhabi relative to the total warehouse supply remains relatively low.

Peninsula is investing in this growth story and has agreed to acquire all currently leased warehouse buildings situated within the ALMARKAZ Industrial Development - as well as the next stage of the ALMARKAZ development, once completed. Peninsula is committed to ensuring that the ALMARKAZ tenants continue to view ALMARKAZ as one of the best facilities in the country. Furthermore, in keeping with Abu Dhabi’s commitment to growth through sustainable and responsible industrial production, Peninsula will seek to work closely with tenants to set measurable energy efficiency and decarbonisation targets.

Developments such as ALMARKAZ Industrial Development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi offer a blueprint for the type of development that can underpin the region’s manufacturing transformation journey – and help Operation 300bn become a reality. Spread across 6 square kilometres of greenfield land in Al Dhafra, ALMARKAZ is subdivided equally into 4 Phases. Approximately 25 per cent of the land in Phase 1 is currently developed, providing 362,000 square metres of industrial space to tenants, many of which operate in precisely the sub-sectors targeted for growth, such as metals, food and beverage, chemicals, plastics, logistics and technology.

Peninsula’s acquisition of the ALMARKAZ properties also demonstrates how real estate investment managers can play a key role in enhancing real estate assets to ensure that they always meet the needs of tenants. Separating real estate development from ongoing asset and operational management enables the numerous companies that make up the real estate value chain to specialise in what they do best.

By purchasing real estate from developers, real estate investment companies such as Peninsula provide an essential platform through which to finance the growth of a sector that, in turn, provides the necessary infrastructure to the manufacturing and logistics sectors of the economy.

James Gallon, CEO of Peninsula, says: “Peninsula’s role at ALMARKAZ is directly linked to the country's long-term strategic goals. Furthermore, by committing to the purchase of the next stage of the ALMARKAZ development, we are providing the developer with the certainty it needs to continue developing and thereby increasing the UAE’s stock of Grade A industrial and logistics warehouses. The industrial development will continue to expand over the coming years, providing much-needed additional real estate infrastructure to the country’s manufacturers and suppliers, and Peninsula is delighted to be playing a role in this development.”

Mohamed Al Nowais, Managing Director of Waha Capital, says: “We are proud to witness the transformative impact of Operation 300bn on the UAE's manufacturing sector, and Waha Capital is committed to supporting this game-changing initiative. Through the ALMARKAZ development, we not only contribute to the UAE's manufacturing growth but also address a crucial gap in the Abu Dhabi market for high-quality warehouse facilities. ALMARKAZ, with its state-of-the-art infrastructure and Grade A industrial and logistics facilities, is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of local and international investors seeking top-tier warehouse spaces. We are confident that ALMARKAZ will play a pivotal role in bolstering Abu Dhabi's industrial landscape and attracting businesses that will drive the region's economic expansion."

Hazem Saeed Al Nowais, Chief Executive Officer of Waha Land, commented: “ALMARKAZ fully aligns with Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030, offering infrastructure-ready industrial land that serves as an ideal base for light and medium industries. With a diverse range of facilities and excellent connectivity to all major ports in the country, it is well-positioned for sustained growth. The development’s continued expansion over the coming years provides an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with partners like Peninsula and support the region's economic advancement.”

The UAE’s commitment to transforming from an oil-based economy into an industrial powerhouse represents an opportunity for the UAE’s real estate sector to attract investment from global institutional investors. As companies like Peninsula facilitate the success of Operation 300bn, investors from around the world will be provided the opportunity to participate in diversified and liquid ownership of strategic assets at scale.

Asad Hussaini, Executive Vice Chairman of Peninsula, added: “We view the fundamentals of the industrial and logistics real estate sector extremely positively. Not only is the UAE economy one of the stand-out successes of the post-COVID era, but growth is set to be sustained by strategies such as Operation 300bn. We are excited to be playing our part, and believe we are well-poised to deliver visible growth and value creation for our partners and contribute towards the development of Abu Dhabi as a leading industrial hub.”

As the sector continues to grow, with the government's focus on delivering sustained economic expansion, the UAE is well on its way to achieving its goals and cementing its position as a leading economic player in the region and beyond.

Peninsula is an internally managed real estate investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi Global Market. Established in 2019, Peninsula is constructing a high quality and diversified real estate portfolio across the GCC, focused on delivering long-term total shareholder returns via sustainable dividends, growth, best-in-class governance standards and reporting.

Waha Land, the industrial real estate subsidiary of Waha Capital, has invested significantly over several years to develop and lease the ALMARKAZ Industrial Development. Developed by Waha Land as an integrated mixed-use industrial development with Grade “A” industrial and logistics facilities and first-class infrastructure, ALMARKAZ is perfectly situated to capitalise on easy access to the UAE’s growing industrial and logistics infrastructure, including major land, sea, air, and rail routes.

Updated: May 26, 2023, 9:36 AM