Abu Dhabi developer Aldar has acquired the Nurai Island Resort for an undisclosed sum, the company announced to the stock exchange today (Friday), and plans to develop two more nearby islands.

In a statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) the company said the acquisition includes Nurai Island Resort, as well as two additional new islands, which will be for residential development.

Aldar will refurbish the original resort and extend its hospitality and food and beverage (f&b) offering, while the new islands are expected to be developed with luxury beachfront villas.

The company said the new development, its second hospitality asset in the UAE after its acquisition of  Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah earlier this year, would be attractive to “select clientele”.

Aldar Investment CEO Jassem Busaibe, said: “The multi-faceted element of the deal provides us with significant room for both development potential and operational improvements on an existing and ready to perform luxury asset.

“It also allows us to leverage our asset management and execution capabilities to drive further value, as we continue to deploy capital effectively and drive forward with our ambitious growth agenda.”

Jonathan Emery, CEO, Aldar Development, said: “This acquisition provides us with an opportunity to develop ultra-luxury and premier beachfront homes that will generate significant international investment appeal.

Emery said the islands will attract holiday home buyers and buy to let investors.

Nurai Island, previously owned by Zaya, headed up by Emirati entrepreneur Nadia Zaal, is 2km from Saadiyat Island, only accessible by boat, and was completed in 2015.

It includes Nurai Island Resort and third-party owned water and estate villas, some of which form part of the hotel’s rental pool with rental sharing agreements, Aldar said. 

News of the acquisition follows conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding’s announcement earlier this week that it had increased its stake in Aldar.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by  Daniel Luiz)