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Industrial Real Estate Developments

Dubai global air and travel company selects Lake Nona for new U.S. headquarters

dnata plans to take the entire fifth floor and naming rights at one of Tavistock’s newly planned office buildings in the Lake Nona Town Center.

Emirati air and travel services provider dnata just announced it has selected Orlando’s Lake Nona neighborhood as the location for its new U.S. headquarters.

The company plans to take the entire fifth floor and naming rights at one of Tavistock Development Company’s newly built office buildings at 13495 Veterans Way in the Lake Nona Town Center.

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According to a news release, the new dnata headquarters space will accommodate 50 staffers, “with room to grow.” Employees include the executive team, functional heads, and all support functions such as payroll, finance, analytics, equipment, procurement, IT, and safety/training.

The company set up shop in Orlando in 2017 and has grown from two employees to 30 employees, according to David Barker, dnata’s divisional senior vice president for airport operations.

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“We expect to further expand our team in the next years and have a team of 50 employees working at our new HQ in 2023,” Barker wrote in an email to GrowthSpotter.

dnata’s U.S. operations provide a range of ground, passenger, and cargo handling services to more than 60 airlines at 26 airports across the country. The headquarters will also feature one of dnata’s training centers, which will be used for leadership training.

The office is expected to open later this year.

GrowthSpotter first reported plans for the 5-story office building in 2020.

It’s located at the intersection of Lake Nona Boulevard and Veterans Way, near the Orlando International Airport. Early renditions of plans showed a mixed-use building with 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The office building will feature new smart-glass technology that reduces heat and glare, called View Glass.

dnata, one of the world’s leading air services providers, was established in Dubai in 1959. During the last fiscal year, it handled 280,000 aircraft turns, moved 2.6 million tonnes of cargo and recorded a total of $62 million in travel services, according to the company’s LinkedIn page.

As of lately, the dnata has been investing in several tech and data initiatives. Last year, it launched autonomous drones in its Dallas Fort Worth airport warehouses. It also recently announced the company will be using Descartes Systems Group’s Descartes CORE BLE tracking solution to help manage its mobile assets for cargo handling at airports.

The company joins other Lake Nona aviation companies including the SIMCOM Aviation and Training center, which broke ground on their new training facility/headquarters in December and is expected to open 2023.

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The BBA Aviation/Signature Flight Support headquarters opened in 2018 in Lake Nona Town Center.

In 2020, Germany-based Lilium announced its partnership with Tavistock, promising to build a vertiport in Lake Nona with the help of over $800,000 in city-approved tax incentives over 10 years. The Lilium air taxi facility is expected to open in 2025.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded aviation innovators in Lake Nona while being minutes from MCO,” Barker said in a prepared statement.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with additional details and a statement from David Barker, dnata’s divisional senior vice president for airport operations.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 491-3357, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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