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Thu 10 Apr 2008 12:33 PM

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Nakheel signs $375mn Miami deal

Nakheel takes 50% stake in Las Vegas-based resort and casino developer Fointainebleau Resorts.

Dubaideveloper Nakheel has signed a$375 million (1.3 billion-dirham)deal with US groupFontainebleau Resortsfor a 50% stake in the company's Miami Beach resort.

The developer's subsidiary Nakheel Hotels has partnered with Las Vegas-based resort and casino developer Fointainebleau Resorts, for a $500 million renovation of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel.

Joe Sita, CEO at Nakheel Hotels, said on Thursday the deal provided Nakheel with a “premier entrance” into the Miami resort market.

“…the Fontainebleau fits perfectly into Nakheel's strategy of investing in the best assets in the most important markets worldwide…Miami, as one of the US's major gateways, has been a key target, which we are pleased to have now gained," Sita said in a statement.

Fontainebleau Resorts said in a statement the alliance was the beginning of partnership that would lead to other global “opportunities”.

The Fontainebleau, which is located on 17 acres of oceanfront, will comprise more than 1,500 luxury guest rooms and suites and a 40,000 square foot European-style spa when renovations are complete.

The project is expected to open in the last quarter of this year.

Nakheel Hotels was launched in November 2007 as the new name for Istithmar Hotels after Dubai World consolidated its hotel business to create an integrated hotel investment company.

The Nakheel deal follows news that state-owned conglomerate Dubai World has received permission to up its stake in US casino operator MGM Mirage.

Dubai World currently owns 9.4% of MGM through its subsidiary Infinity World but was granted approval on Tuesday from the Michigan Gaming Control Board to buy up to 14.9% shares in MGM.