twofour54, Abu Dhabi’s thriving media and entertainment free zone, has appointed Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s leading listed property development, investment and management company, as the strategic real estate partner of the Media Zone Authority, to be the developer of its new, permanent home which will be situated on Yas Island. The agreement was signed in the presence of Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State and Chairman of twofour54, by Her Excellency Maryam Al Mheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority and twofour54, and His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO of Aldar Properties. The agreement is aligned with the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi’s mandate by the Abu Dhabi Government and Executive Council to develop a thriving, world-class media industry that significantly contributes to the achievement of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s economic objectives.
Set to cover an initial gross floor area (GFA) of 95,000 square metres, twofour54’s new home will feature state-of-the-art offices, TV studios and retail. Over time the GFA is expected to grow to over 300,000 square metres.
Since its inception in 2008, twofour54 has established Abu Dhabi as a leading, regional creative hub and as a destination that attracts international media companies, content providers and technologies. Today, twofour54 hosts over 450 media companies, including Sky News Arabia, Image Nation, Ubisoft, CNN, Fox, Flash Entertainment, M&C Saatchi, Flat6Labs and more, and employs nearly 4,000 talented professionals. The move will increase twofour54’s capacity by 25 per cent, which will help it expand, evolve, and continue attracting the world’s most innovative and cutting-edge companies as partners.
The development will be delivered via a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) structure. This supports the Abu Dhabi vision of a public-private partnership by capitalising on Aldar’s private sector expertise and equity to develop strategic projects, and attract foreign direct investment to the Emirate.
Commenting on the strategic development partnership, Her Excellency Maryam Al Mheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority and twofour54, said:”Over the past nine years, twofour54 has grown from strength to strength to become a leading regional hub for media and entertainment content. This success is due to the holistic ecosystem that we have carefully nurtured over the years, which has allowed our partners to thrive and prosper.”
“Aldar has a significant track record, making them the perfect partner for us as we prepare for the next chapter of our story – developing a physically connected community which supports our partners’ growth and empowers them to innovate, collaborate and create.”
Commenting, H.E Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chief Executive Officer of Aldar, said: “Aldar has established itself as the developer of choice in Abu Dhabi, and continues to shape the Emirate’s skyline. This will be strengthened by the development of twofour54’s new home, which will enhance the investment proposition of the UAE’s capital. This will make it an even more attractive place to do business, and contribute towards the national vision of economic diversification.
“Having already evolved into a leading entertainment, leisure and residential destination, Yas Island is now set to become a hub for the media and entertainment industry. This is a key pillar of Aldar’s strategy to create high quality, desirable and versatile destinations that enrich the lives of residents, tourists, and business travellers.”
The first phase of the new free zone is valued at approximately AED 1 billion and is set to grow as twofour54 continues to grow, with a target of 10,000 working professionals from the media sector coming to Yas Island. The new free zone forms part of Miral’s master development plan to transform the southern end of Yas Island.
The master development is set to attract more than 15,000 new residents to Yas Island.As one of the Middle East’s most exciting destinations, Yas Island’s appeal continues to grow. Having welcomed 27 million visitors from the UAE and abroad in 2016, the island aims to take its annual visitor tally to 30 million in 2018, and 48 million by 2022. It is home to the Yas Marina Circuit, where the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix is held every year, in addition to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Yas Mall, and Yas Links Golf & Country Club. It will also welcome the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi theme park in 2018, as well as SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, a first-of-its-kind marine life theme park, in 2022.
Alongside its seven hotels on Yas Island, Aldar currently has more than 3,500 homes under development including West Yas, Mayan, Yas Acres and Ansam, with Ansam due for handover later this year. With the welcome addition of twofour54, Yas Island is set to become the preferred destination of choice for Abu Dhabi residents.