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Fri 23 Aug 2013 05:34 PM

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Dubai firm, Thai hotel giant eye African expansion

Dubai-based Rani Investment, Minor Hotel Group ink deal to gorw assets on African continent

Dubai firm, Thai hotel giant eye African expansion
Inside the Anantara Dubai Palm hotel. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Minor Hotel Group has announced the formation of a long term strategic partnership agreement with Dubai-based Rani Investment, the owner of high end resorts across Africa.

The two organisations have formed a joint venture company for ownership of Indigo Bay Resort & Spa in Mozambique, with plans for further expansion in Africa, a statement said.

Located on Bazaruto Island, 30km off the east coast of the country, Indigo Bay is a five star 44-villa resort, and will be re-branded to Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa later this year and managed by Minor Hotel Group.

This new addition to MHG’s portfolio takes the number of properties in operation to 94 and adds a new country of operation, taking the total to thirteen.

The new strategic partnership will explore more opportunities in Mozambique, including in the capital Maputo, and in the vibrant East Africa market to further strengthen MHG’s presence on the continent.

These properties will be a mix of new-build and re-brand and will be flagged with MHG’s international hotel brands, including Anantara, the recently launched contemporary upscale brand AVANI and the serviced apartment Oaks brand which is currently expanding into Asia and the Middle East.

Dubai-based Rani Investment is the investment arm of Aujan Group Holding with more than $300m of dedicated investments in the Middle East and Africa.

Rani Investment is the largest private hospitality owner-operator in Mozambique, having first established its presence in 1999 under the Rani Resorts name.

Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Rani Investment and are looking forward to working closely with them to grow our portfolio in Africa, specifically in Mozambique to begin with.

"We are already present in Tanzania and Kenya through our partnership with Elewana Collection and we are keen to expand further into other parts of this vast continent where there is so much untapped opportunity.”

Salim Bitar, CEO, Rani Investment, added: “As we embark on the next phase of our expansion in Africa, we are delighted to be working alongside internationally recognised hospitality brands such as Minor, which will enable us to contribute to and capitalise on the success of the country’s rapidly growing economy.”

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