Dubai Bankers Club Seeks Turnaround After Members Dwindle

(Bloomberg) -- Dubai financial district’s members-only business club is seeking money to turnaround the exclusive meeting spot once-favored by the city’s top dealmakers.

Capital Club Dubai is working with Emirates Capital Ltd. to raise about 30 million dirhams ($8.2 million) as part of plans that include bringing in a new management team and restructuring debt.

“The funds will be utilized to pay off existing debts, improve and refurbish the club,” according to a statement from Capital Club Dubai. “Every effort shall be made to manage it successfully and profitably, increase revenue and reduce costs.”

Once one of the city’s most exclusive places to do business, the venue isn’t being spared the economic slump that’s weighing on the emirate. Membership -- which costs about $5,500 a year to access meeting rooms, a gym, a fine dining restaurant and a sports bar in the heart of the financial district -- has dropped to about 1,000 from a peak of roughly 1,500 members.

Job Cuts

The club’s difficulties mirror a wider slowdown in Dubai’s financial services industry that’s been impacted as global banks retreat to their home markets. Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG have been cutting jobs, while the Abraaj Group, once one of the finance hub’s major tenants, also collapsed last year.

Still, the number of financial companies operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre rose 11% during the first half.

A new board of directors chaired by Hussain Sultan Al Junaidy has taken over management of Capital Club Dubai from Signature Clubs International Ltd., owned by United Arab Emirates-based developer Enshaa Holdings Ltd. Enshaa wasn’t available to comment.

Al Junaidy has committed 6 million dirhams to the capital raising, while the remaining 24 million dirhams will come from other investors. The club hopes to double membership numbers by the end of next year.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.