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Thu 13 Dec 2007 02:07 AM

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Nakheel joins Istithmar to expand hotels group

Dubai World consolidates hotel business under one banner.

Dubai World has brought its hotel business under one banner as part of a restructure merging the real estate business of Istithmar with Nakheel.

Istithmar Hotels will now be known as Nakheel hotels, an integrated hotel investment company which remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai World.

The hotels group has accumulated a global hotel property portfolio since its launch in April 2006, with value of investments to date reaching in excess of $3 billion.

The group will continue to be led by chief executive Joe Sita, who said in a statement “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% 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.”

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 investingin budget hotels in key growth markets.

Projects currently include The Trump International Hotel & Tower, 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 acquired the luxury liner 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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