Dubai Fund Buys Stake In Cape Town, U.S. Hotels

April 9, 2015


Investment Corporation of Dubai has acquired a stake in Cape Town’s luxury five-star waterfront resort, One & Only, along with two other luxury hotels in prime U.S. locations.

A sovereign wealth fund owned by the government of Dubai in United Arab Emirates, Investment Corporation exists to generate a superior return on investment, according to its website.

ICD also purchased the W Hotel in Washington, D.C. — the closest hotel to the White House — and a majority holding in the Mandarin Oriental in New York overlooking Manhattan’s Central Park, according to a report in TheNational.

Sovereign wealth funds in the UAE have a big appetite for luxury hospitality assets in international markets, saidMat Green, head of research for the UAE at property consultancy CBRE Middle East, in an interview with GulfNews.

In 2014, ICD made was what considered in the international hotels business a transformational deal when it bought a large stake in Kerzner International, the global luxury hotels management group, TheNational reports. Dubai’s Istithmar World already owned a 25 percent holding in Kerzner at the time. Also a Dubai government-owned company, it specializes in private equity and alternative investments.

ICD has strategic stakes in many of the companies regarded as core to the emirate’s economic strategy, such as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Emirates aviation group.

In 2013, when ICD launched a bond prospectus, its total assets stood at $160 billion, according to TheNational.

There are significant investments from the UAE region going into Cape Town, Washington, D.C. and New York, said Mohammed Al Shaibani, CEO of ICD, in a statement, GulfNews reports. “Building on our strong domestic growth in the hospitality and tourism sector, this strategic move reinforces ICD as a serious contender in the global luxury hospitality space.” Source: AFK Insider