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Tue 2 Oct 2007 12:14 AM

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Dubai ploughs $230mn into Rwanda eco-tourism

State conglomerate to develop eight real estate projects in east African country.

Dubai World on Monday said it is to invest around $230 million in eight real estate developments in Rwanda as it looks to capitalise on the growing number of tourists visiting the east African country to explore its natural beauty.

The investment includes the redevelopment of facilities at a number of the country’s national parks, as well as projects in the capital Kigali.

The state-owned conglomerate said it the developments would be done in partnership with the government of Rwanda.

Through its subsidiary Istithmar Real Estate, Dubai World plans to redevelop the 60-room Akagera Game Lodge at the 1,000-square kilometre Akagera National Park.

It will also redevelop the Gorilla Nest Lodge at Volcanoes National Park, where two-thirds of the last 680 gorillas in the world live, and develop an eco-lodge adjacent to a tea plantation in the Nyungwe Forest National Park, which protects one of the largest single tract of mountain forest remaining anywhere in Africa.

In the capital Dubai World is to redevelop Kigali Golf Course and build a 150-room hotel, as well as townhouses and villas.

“We believe our partnership will make a significant contribution to the tourism offering in Rwanda,” Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai World, said in a statement.

“The investments we have made will help us achieve our vision of becoming the leading player in conservation-based game reserve operation and land conservation.”

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