A Dubai government conglomerate behind some of the emirate’s industrial powerhouses says it has bought a “significant” stake in the international hotel operator that runs the Atlantis hotel on the city’s main palm-shaped island.
Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) on Thursday said it had bought the stake in Kerzner International Holdings from the family of its founder and several institutional investors.
Neither company disclosed the purchase price, but an ICD official told The Associated Press the investment company now owned a stake of more than 40 per cent.
ICD is an investment arm of the Dubai government. The CEO of ICD, Mohammed Al Shaibani, is now chairman of the hotel operator, replacing founder Sol Kerzner.
Goldman Sachs and Colony Capital also have holdings in the company. Another state-owned Dubai firm, Istithmar World, bought out Kerzner’s stake in the Atlantis Palm in Dubai in 2012.
Kerzner still runs the hotel operations for the One&Only and Atlantis brand in Dubai, as well as resorts in the Bahamas, Mauritius, Maldives, Mexico and South Africa. A new Atlantis resort is being planned in China.
Al Shaibani said the investment comes on the back of Dubai’s push to boost its hotel and tourism industry as the city prepares to host the World Expo in 2020.
“This investment re-affirms ICD’s commitment to support the long-term growth of our domestic hospitality market, a key pillar of and growth sector for the Dubai economy,” Al Shaibani said in a statement.
ICD’s holdings include the Middle East’s biggest airline Emirates and a stake in Emaar Properties, the builder of the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa.
Dubai, part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, has positioned itself a destination for over-the-top luxury and opulence.
It also has a penchant for monumental buildings and development projects, notably a large area around a new airport with hotels, housing and a new conference centre to host the world fair in six years.