Industry Update
Press Release12 December 2007

Nakheel And Istithmar Join To Expand Hotel Business

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Nakheel Hotel & Resorts

2007 Nakheel Hotels is the new name for Istithmar Hotels after 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 the Dubai World group.

The hotels group was formed in April 2006 as the hotel investment and asset management business of Istithmar and has, in less than 2 years, accumulated a global hotel property portfolio and has already shaped the performance of these properties. The enterprise value of investments to date is in excess of $3 billion.

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

Joe Sita, Chief Executive, Nakheel Hotels, said:

'Nakheel is renowned around the world for its iconic 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 organization, 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 strategy under the Nakheel banner.'

Chris O'Donnell, Nakheel CEO, said:

'With the continued growth and rationalization 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 merge 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.

Projects currently include The Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is under development on The Palm Jumeirah, while the group has already acquired several luxury hotels in the US, including Mandarin Oriental, W Union Square and Hotel Washington, as well as significant equity investments in Kerzner and International Hotel Investments plc, and development projects for W hotels in Thailand.

QE2 Enterprises, which has acquired the QE2, will also become part of the expanded Nakheel Hotels. The QE2 is to form the centerpiece of a luxury hotel, residential, retail and entertainment destination to be developed on The Palm Jumeirah.

About Nakheel

Nakheel is one of the world's largest privately held real estate developers, and a key player in realising the vision of Dubai for the 21st century: creating a world class destination for business and tourism.

Nakheel currently has a portfolio of developments, across a range of sectors, including The Palm trilogy, The World, Dubai Waterfront, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Park and Ibn Battuta Mall. Spreading across 2 billion sq ft of land, Nakheel's projects aim to redefine the concept of property development whether residential, tourist, commercial or retail.

About Nakheel Hotels | Nakheel Hotels is an integrated hotel development, investment and asset management business with investments under management currently in excess of $3bn.

Nakheel Hotels goal is to deliver exceptional returns through the acquisition and active management of luxury hotels in key gateway cities and resorts around the world, together with strategic equity investments and investment in budget hotels in key growth markets. Building and leveraging relationships with key strategic partners is central to the company's investment strategy.

Investments include the Mandarin Oriental and W Union Square hotels in New York, Hotel Washington in Washington DC and significant equity stakes in Kernzer, operator of the Atlantis and One & Only brands, and International Hotel Investments plc, owner of a portfolio of hotels in Europe and North Africa operated under the Corinthia brand. Nakheel Hotels also has significant investments in the budget hotel sector, holding the master franchise rights for in the MENA region with the first hotels under development in Dubai, and an investment in Tune Hotels in the ASEAN region.

Aaron Richardson
Media Relations Manager
Phone: +971 (0)50 553 8201
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