Western Cape target for future Dubai investments

Chairman of Dubai World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has identified the Western Cape as a key target for future investments during a press conference with the Premier of the Western Cape, Mr Ebrahim Rasool.

The press conference was a chance for Mr. Bin Sulayem, to discuss the US$2 billion acquisition and re-development plans for the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

The Dubai World and London & Regional Properties consortium, announced plans in October to invest more than US$ 1 billion in the V&A Waterfront over the next four years. This followed the consortium’s successful purchase of the development for US$ 1 billion in September.

Mr. Bin Sulayem, said:

“The consortium’s successful purchase of the V&A Waterfront in September – ahead of 60 South African and international companies – was just the beginning.

“We have long-term plans and have a strong commitment to South Africa and the region to ensure the Waterfront becomes one of the leading tourist destinations in the world.

“We are involved in real estate developments across the globe but there are few places which offer such potential as Cape Town’s waterfront.”

The consortium has already started improvements to the Waterfront and recently outlined a three-stage development strategy, the bulk of which is scheduled for completion prior to 2010 when South Africa will host the FIFA World Cup.

The four year development strategy includes landscaping and beautification measures, commercial facilities, new hotels and resorts, entertainment areas, marinas, new shopping developments, apartments, offices and later a cruise ship terminal, a train station and improved connections to the airport. (Please see below the detailed three-stage development strategy.

Mr. Bin Sulayem, said:

“The FIFA World Cup in 2010 is an important opportunity for South Africa to showcase itself on a global stage and we want to ensure we are ready to capitalise on this opportunity.

“Our development strategy, to be rolled out over the next four years, demonstrates our long-term aim of doing business in Southern Africa.

“We are bringing to the V&A Waterfront all the necessary resources, skills and expertise that have helped us transform Dubai into the iconic city that it is today. We have the chance to create a truly world-class resort, which can be a focal point for the World Cup.”

This project not only demonstrates confidence in the South African economy but signals strengthening commercial links between the Middle East and Africa.

Mr Ebrahim Rasool, Premier of the Western Cape, said:

“The V&A Waterfront is Africa’s number one property, leisure and retail destination and we are excited by the plans that the consortium has presented to us.

“We hope the relationship between Dubai World and South Africa will encourage more Dubai-based brands to the region and we will be working closely with the developers to ensure the revitalised Waterfront meets the long-term needs of the local community.”

Dubai World recently reaffirmed its commitment to Arab-African business development by announcing that it is the lead-sponsor of the second Arab-African Investment, Banking & Business Conference in Cape Town from 27 to 29 November 2006. James Wilson, CEO of Nakheel Hotels & Resorts – a Dubai World company – will be leading the development of the Waterfront on behalf of the consortium and will also give a keynote address to the conference.

James Wilson, chief executive of Nakheel Hotels & Resorts, said:

“The V&A Waterfront is a major re-development project and a real chance for us to take an active role in promoting the numerous opportunities available to investors in Africa and the Middle East.

“Next week we will be in South Africa as lead-sponsors of the Arab-African Business Conference in Cape Town and I look forward to meeting with both local and international stakeholders to further discussing our re-development plans for the Waterfront and meeting with potential investors.

“Already there has seen an overwhelming amount of interest in this project.”

Article from: www.cbn.co.za