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Nakheel and Istithmar join to expand hotel business

Nakheel and Istithmar join to expand hotel business

Nakheel Hotels is the new name for Istithmar Hotels after Dubai World consolidated its hotel business under one banner to create a fully integrated hotel investment company. The merger is part of an internal restructure within the Dubai World group whereby the real estate business of Istithmar is being joined with Nakheel. The merged entity will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dubai World group.

The hotels group was formed in April 2006 as the hotel investment and asset management business of Istithmar and has, in less than 2 years, accumulated a global hotel property portfolio and has already shaped the performance of these properties. The enterprise value of investments to date is in excess of $3 billion.

The hotels group will continue to be led by Chief Executive Joe Sita and the team will be enhanced with the addition of several key positions.

Joe Sita, Chief Executive, Nakheel Hotels, said:

"Nakheel is renowned around the world for its iconic projects such as The Palm Jumeirah and The World, and is playing a major role in driving Dubai's tourism growth, increasing the number of hotels in the emirate by more than 50 per cent through its developments. It therefore makes sense for Istithmar Hotels to join the Nakheel organization, providing the hotels group with additional resources, capabilities, and the backing of one of the world's foremost real estate developers.

"The hotels group has already formed a number of key strategic alliances with partners, investee companies, operators and brands and will continue to build and leverage these relationships in pursuing its business strategy under the Nakheel banner."

Chris O'Donnell, Nakheel CEO, said:

"With the continued growth and rationalization of the Dubai World businesses, and following the merge of Istithmar and Nakheel's real estate divisions, it is now timely for the group to join its hotel businesses together. The merge will not only consolidate our resources and existing investments, but will also continue the process of creating a broad based real estate company, focusing on activities from development and asset management through to funds and investment management."

Nakheel Hotels will continue to pursue its strategy of acquiring luxury hotels in key gateway cities and resorts across North America, Europe and Asia, along with investing in the budget hotels sector in key growth markets.

Projects currently include The Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is under development on The Palm Jumeirah, while the group has already acquired several luxury hotels in the US, including Mandarin Oriental, W Union Square and Hotel Washington, as well as significant equity investments in Kerzner and International Hotel Investments plc, and development projects for W hotels in Thailand.

QE2 Enterprises, which has acquired the QE2, will also become part of the expanded Nakheel Hotels. The QE2 is to form the centerpiece of a luxury hotel, residential, retail and entertainment destination to be developed on The Palm Jumeirah.


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