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Jebel Ali School sold to Taaleem for $63.5 million – Arabian Business

Jebel Ali School sold to Taaleem for $63.5 million – Arabian Business

The property on which the Jebel Ali School in Dubai’s Akoya stands has been sold by Equitativa, the manager of Emirates REIT, to Taaleem Holdings PSC (Taaleem).

Emirates REIT has held the plot since 2015 and has previously funded the development of the not-for-profit Jebel Ali School facility, which benefits more than 1,800 students.

The school, which was established in 1977, is a leading British curriculum school in Dubai for students aged 3-18 years.  It relocated its operations to the new Akoya campus in 2016.

Commenting on the sale, Thierry Leleu, CEO of Equitativa, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Taaleem and the Board of Governors at Jebel Ali School in closing this transaction for the benefit of Emirates REIT’s investors, Jebel Ali School, and its students and faculty members.

“This transaction highlights our dual commitment to optimise returns for our investors and support our tenants’ operations and growth. We look forward to redeploying the disposal proceeds in other opportunities.”

Thierry Leleu, CEO of Equitativa

The aggregate consideration of the transaction to be paid by Taaleem to Emirates REIT is equal to $63.5 million (AED 233.5 million) and comprises both the property sale price; a quantum equal to the last valuation undertaken by one of the REIT’s independent valuers and the settlement of the school outstanding liabilities towards the REIT.

Upon receipt of the full consideration, the total return on investment derived by Emirates REIT from the Jebel Ali School property over the hold period will be 1.4 times its investment.

Following the completion of the divestment, Emirates REIT’s portfolio comprises 10 properties across Dubai with a net lettable area of 203,366 square metres.

The value of the investment properties stands at AED 2.6 billion, with approximately 37.6 percent of the REIT’s net lettable area in educational assets.

The CEO of Taaleem, Alan Williamson, said: “Over the last academic year there has been a remarkable amount of hard work, deep discussion and decision making by both the Jebel Ali School (JAS) Board, their School Management and Taaleem to bring us to where we are today.

“The JAS Team were rightly concerned, cautious, and careful to ensure they found the right partner to secure their future. The utmost priority for them was preserving their independence, long history, traditions, and reputation.”

Taaleem
Alan Williamson, CEO of Taaleem

How will this affect parents, students, and teachers at the Jebel Ali School?

The Jebel Ali School (JAS) brand will not change, nor will the school curriculum. The impact of the property sale is expected to have “very little will change” on a day-to-day basis in and around school.

In line with the fee freeze mandated by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Taaleem has confirmed that the tuition fees will remain unchanged for the 2022/23 academic year.

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Taaleem has confirmed that the team of teachers at JAS will be retained. The new owners will support staff with the transition through a series of communications and meetings, which will be scheduled separately in the coming days.

The chair of the JAS Board of Governors, Tarek Alami, said: “This partnership, which has become possible following extensive and constructive discussions with our landlord, delivers a truly sustainable solution to resolve the school’s rent obligations towards our landlord and paves the way for Jebel Ali School’s continued growth.

“On behalf of the JAS Board of Governors and leadership team, I would like to emphasise our excitement about the opportunities this partnership presents for the JAS community. Under the umbrella of the Taaleem family of schools, Jebel Ali School will continue to deliver exceptional whole school academic provision, building on our enviable reputation as a happy and thriving community school, and centred around our ethos that “better is always possible”.

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