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02 March 2024

A hospitality giant is born

By Staff Writer


Nakheel Hotels and Resorts has merged with Istithmar’s hospitality arm to create Nakheel Hotels after holding company Dubai World consolidated its hotel business under one banner to create a fully integrated hotel investment company.

The merger is part of an internal restructure within the Dubai World group whereby the real estate business of Istithmar is being joined with Nakheel. The merged entity will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai World.

The hotels group was formed in April 2006 as the hotel investment and asset management business of Istithmar and has, in less than two years, accumulated a global hotel property portfolio whose enterprise value is more than $3 billion (Dh11bn) , the group said in a statement yesterday.

The hotels group will continue to be led by Chief Executive Joe Sita and the team will be enhanced with the addition of key positions.

Sita said: “Nakheel is renowned worldwide for its 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 per cent through its developments.

“It, therefore, makes sense for Istithmar Hotels to join the Nakheel organisation, providing the hotels group with additional resources, capabilities, and the backing of one of the world’s foremost real estate developers.

“The hotels group has already formed a number of key strategic alliances with partners, investee companies, operators and brands and will continue to build and leverage these relationships in pursuing its business under the Nakheel banner.”

Nakheel Chief Executive Chris O’Donnell said: “With the continued growth and rationalisation of the Dubai World businesses, and following the merge of Istithmar and Nakheel’s real estate divisions, it is now timely for the group to join its hotel businesses together. The merger will not only consolidate our resources and existing investments, but will also continue the process of creating a broad based real estate company, focusing on activities from development and asset management through to funds and investment management.”

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 investing in the budget hotels sector in key growth markets worldwide.

Projects currently include The Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is under development on The Palm Jumeirah.