Dubai World Africa, the African subsidiary of Dubai World, has acquired major stakes in South Africa’s Shamwari Game Reserve, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and Jock Safari Lodge, which are units of the Mantis Collection.
The acquisition is in line with the Dubai World Group’s strategy to acquire high-end assets in key destinations across the world.The three game reserves will enhance Dubai World Africa’s portfolio of prime African properties.
They include Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa, both in Cape Town, South Africa, Kempinski Beach Resort and Residences in the Comoros, One & Only Zanzibar, Djibouti Palace Kempinski and Nyungwe, Akagera National Park and Gorilla’s Nest Lodge all in Rwanda, among others.
“The acquisition of these resorts represents a sound opportunity to co-invest in the growing South African hospitality sector. Each resort is superbly located on prime land with excellent development potential. The deal presents a highly prospective growth opportunity for the South African economy,” Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Dubai World Chairman, said in a statement.
“Dubai World has long identified South Africa as a sound investment base. We see many good opportunities and we are here for the long term. As we have said earlier, the firm intends to invest about $1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) in Africa over the next five years,” Bin Sulayem said.
“We are strongly focused on establishing a leading conservation-based company in South Africa,” he said. “African wildlife is precious. It has much more value as a tourism attraction.
Dubai World sees this as a commitment to protect the reserve as well as encourage tourism.” James Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai World Africa, said both Shamwari and Sanbona are within the proximity of the popular tourism destinations of Cape Town and the Garden Route.
“Daily direct flights between Dubai and Cape Town by Emirates will benefit both tourism and the local economy. Another key Dubai World Africa asset, the new One & Only luxury hotel under development at our key South African property, the V&A Waterfront, will become an even bigger attraction,” Wilson said.
“Shamwari and Sanbona are complementary to the V&A Waterfront and all are highly sought-after by tourists.”
Conservation is also an important focus area of the group, which has established Dubai World Conservation Africa as a holding company for a number of prime game reserves in the continent.
Wilson said an additional benefit of this deal is the chance to acquire excellent game management skills, which will be applied elsewhere in the Dubai World Group. Adrian Gardiner, founder of Shamwari and Mantis Collection, will continue as both managing director and shareholder of the three reserves.
Gardiner has spearheaded the philosophy of responsible and ecologically sensitive wildlife and tourism development in South Africa, supporting the local environment through community development projects and conservation of resources.
“Dubai World Africa’s policy is that environment and conservation need to be the hallmarks of all new developments.
“It will enable both parties to fully realise these important global issues. Shamwari pioneered wildlife tourism in the Eastern Cape and the group looks forward to using this valuable expertise in the many opportunities that will become available with the partnership with Dubai World,” Gardiner said.
The current management at Mantis Collection Head Office as well as all game reserve management and employees will remain in their positions.