Investment Corporation of Dubai takes stake in luxury US and South African hotels

Investment Corporation of Dubai, the emirate’s main investment vehicle, has strengthened its presence in the global hospitality business with the acquisition of stakes in three luxury hotels.

ICD has purchased the W Hotel in Washington DC, a majority holding in the Mandarin Oriental in New York, and a minority in the One & Only resort in Cape Town, South Africa.

The purchase price was not announced.

“Building on our strong domestic growth in the hospitality and tourism sectors, this strategic move reinforces ICD as a serious contender in the global luxury hospitality space,” said Mohammed Al Shaibani, the executive director and chief executive of ICD.

“ICD has recently made significant progress in developing its hospitality presence domestically, supporting the sustainable economic growth of Dubai. The acquisition of luxury hotels in prime global destinations complements ICD’s existing portfolio. ICD will continue to be on the lookout for similar additions to its portfolio in the future,” he added.

Last year, ICD clinched what was regarded as a “transformational” deal in the international hotels business when it bought a big stake in Kerzner International, the global luxury hotels management group, in which Dubai World’s subsidiary Istithmar World already had a 25 per cent holding.

With that deal, Dubai acquired control of a major international hotels chain to add to the successful Jumeirah brand, owned by Dubai Holding.

ICD owns outright the Atlantis resort on the Palm Jumeirah, having paid US$250 million last year for a remaining 50 per cent holding, and it has a controlling interest in the company that manages the One & Only and Mazagan chains.

“The strategic transactions demonstrate the commitment of ICD, the principle investment arm of the government of Dubai, to continuously expand the reach and expertise of Dubai in a sector considered integral to the growth of the emirate and its economy,” a statement from ICD said.

ICD has strategic stakes in many of the companies regarded as core to the emirate’s economic strategy, such as the Emirates aviation group, Emirates NBD and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

In 2013, when ICD launched a bond prospectus, its total assets stood at $160 billion.

The three new hotels in the ICD portfolio are all regarded as prime locations and luxury standards. The W in Washington is the closest hotel to the White House, while the Mandarin Oriental overlooks Manhattan’s Central Park. The Cape Town hotel is on the city’s waterfront.

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