Kuoni to buy stake in DAT - Emirates24|7

Kuoni to buy stake in DAT

Samir Frank Tabbah, left, CEO of Desert Adventures Tourism, Rolf Schafroth, centre, CEO of Kuoni Destination Management, and Yasser Noman, vice-president of Destination Management Arabia in Dubai yesterday. Sivaraman Mohan

Kuoni Travel Holding is to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Dubai-based Desert Adventures Tourism (DAT), the British headquarterd firm announced yesterday.

The remaining 20 per cent is being retained by the current managing director. Desert Adventures Tourism is active in destination management in four countries – the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.

With this acquisition – which was carried out with a local partner – Kuoni continues to build up its position in this important tourism region, a spokesman said.

Desert Adventures Tourism was founded in 1997 in Dubai. The company expects to post sales of around CHF100 million (Dh358m) for the 2007/08 financial year, which ends on June 30.

The company's 150 staff will keep their jobs and the existing management team will continue to have responsibility for the company's positive development.

The two companies have agreed not to divulge the purchase price. Within the Kuoni Group, Desert Adventures Tourism will be integrated into the Strategic Business Division Destinations, though the brand name is being retained.

"Desert Adventures Tourism has achieved significant growth over the last financial year, and together with the employees and existing management we intend to accelerate this growth still further," said Rolf Schafroth, Kuoni Group's head of Strategic Business Division Destinations, said.

Kuoni Destination Management opened its first sales office in Dubai in 2001. Then in 2006 it built up its own destination management company. These activities are now being merged with Desert Adventures Tourism. "With its high quality services, Desert Adventures Tourism fits perfectly with our growth strategy," said Max E Katz, CFO and Speaker of the Group Executive Board.