IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA), Kersaf and Sun International (SI), Africa's leading tourism and leisure group, have announced that they have signed an agreement for the development of resorts in Palm Island, Dubai, Zanzibar and the Zimbali Coastal Resort in South Africa.
An aerial view of The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Under the agreement IFA and Sun International will be jointly responsible for all planning and related studies. SI will be responsible for the provision of development and operating management services. The agreement covers other potential projects in the Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean, including the Maldives.
The proposed resorts, which will be operated under the Sun International brand, will have hotel accommodation together, in some cases, with timeshare that will be marketed and operated under the highly successful Sun International Vacation Club brand.
Sun International, was incorporated in 1983 and is listed on The Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The group's operations include resorts and luxury hotels in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. The group operates 22 hotels and in 2003 the group's hotel related revenues were in excess of $100 million.
Sun International is the only significant operator of superior luxury hotels and major resorts in southern Africa. This focus was initiated with the first hotel at the internationally recognized and acclaimed Sun City Resort in 1979. The success of these resorts and hotels lies in their appeal to the international markets and their ability to continue to attract customers from the upper end of the local market. The Palace of the Lost City, The Table Bay and Royal Livingstone are all members of The Leading Hotels of the World. SI has developed two of Africa's premier luxury hotel resort properties, Zimbali in KwaZulu-Natal and The Table Bay at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. These hotels have been linked to the internationally focused 'Route of the African Sun', a network of southern Africa's most popular attractions for tourists. Sun International has received a number of awards including Africa's Leading Hotel Group and Table Bay Hotel was voted as the leading hotel in Africa by Conde Naste.
The synergy that exists between IFA and Sun International includes the fact that Sun International is regarded as the premier hotel and timeshare operator in South Africa and has 20,000 timeshare members with a number of timeshare resorts affiliated to RCI.
IFA has acquired a 50% interest in the Zimbali Coastal Resort, north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and plans to develop a mixed use Hotel and Vacation club resort to complement the 5 star Zimbali Lodge. It is intended the resort be marketed and managed under the Sun International Vacation Club brand.
The Palm Sun Hotel & Resort, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will be on a 150,000 sq m site. The property will have a beach frontage of 750 metres. IFA and SI plan to construct a luxury mixed-use hotel and resort consisting of up to 1,000 rooms at an expected cost of $200 million. The location of IFA's second resort on The Palm will be adjacent to the recently announced 2,000 room Atlantis, The Palm, a resort and water theme park located at the centre of The Palm Crescent, Jumeirah with an estimated cost of $1 billion and featuring a marine habitat, marina, and themed water attractions. International architects have been commissioned to develop the conceptual designs for the Palm Sun Hotel & Resort.
Zanzibar Sun Hotel & Resort - a 200 room hotel & resort to be located in Zanzibar and will include an additional up-market beach hotel which will feature a health spa, an 18-hole golf course, a golf academy, a beach clubhouse, children's village and a vacation club.
IFA anticipates strong Middle East demand for its properties and the tie up with SI will lead to significant travel avenues being opened up to the European and Middle East markets in line with the dedicated tour operator that is owned by Sun International, Sun International Dreams, and the fact that SI has dedicated marketing offices in UK, Germany, France, Italy and the USA. It is the aim of IFA Hotels & Resorts to link the proposed resorts in Zanzibar and Dubai to existing hotels and resorts in South Africa.
The alliance agreement was signed in Dubai by Jassim M Al Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director of IFA, Peter Bacon CEO Sun International & Kersaf Investments following meetings in Dubai that included David Coutts Trotter, Deputy CEO Sun International, Henrik Brand, Legal Affairs Director, Sun International and James Wilson, President & COO IFA Hotels and Resorts.
International Financial Advisors (IFA) listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of US $1 billion. IFA heads a consortium of several leading Kuwait and international companies including; Kuwait Real Estate Company (KREC), International Finance Company (IFV) and United Investments Portugal (UIP).
Jassim M. Al Bahar commented: 'IFA's alliance with Sun International will add tremendous value to our global network and presents an experienced and world class partner to develop various projects in the Middle East & Africa. It also represents further implementation of IFA's policy of providing first class multi use resorts, with this new resort on the Palm crescent complementing IFA's other 1,200 room Hotel & Vacation Club resort on the Palm Jumeirah trunk, adjacent to the Souq Palm - The Joint Venture between Nakheel and IFA - as well as the 246 luxury shoreline apartments facing Burj Al Arab on the six kilometre trunk. This latest addition by IFA will give tourists, as well as property/timeshare owners a variety of choices on the trunk and on the 11 kilometre Palm Crescent by IFA Hotels & Resorts.'
Peter Bacon, CE of Sun International, welcomed the strategic alliance with IFA stating: 'We have followed IFA's move into Zimbali and its other premium hotel and resort investments in Dubai, Portugal and Zanzibar and with SI's expansion plans we are pleased to have secured a strong international partner and we see a great deal of synergy between Sun International as operators and investors and IFA, a leading hotel and resort investor'.
IFA Hotels & Resorts will be responsible for the development and asset management of the respective investments and Sun International will be directly involved in the development management and ongoing operations that will include Hotel and Vacation Club Operations.
Jassim M. Al Bahar concluded: 'This latest alliance by our group is a further reflection of our positive outlook at the pace in which tourism in Dubai and Africa is developing. IFA is pleased to be part of that growth thereby providing its clients with world class networks in Middle East, Africa and Europe.'
Recently IFA Hotels & Resorts entered into a joint venture with The Palm developers Nakheel, for the development of two niche market shopping complexes Souq palm - and freehold residences - The Palm Residence Souq - covering 60,000 sq. metres on the trunk of The Palm Jumeirah. The complex will overlook a 1.5 kilometre canal side Corniche to be called 'The Golden Mile,' which will transform it into one of the world's most sought after Corniche-style shopping destinations. The joint venture's shopping and residential complex will cost US $300 million and will cover 780 luxury apartments as well as 220 boutique shops and restaurants.
ABOUT IFA HOTELS & RESORTS
IFA Hotels & Resorts is a subsidiary of the Kuwait-based International Financial Advisors Company (IFA). The depth and strength of the group places it in the forefront of companies engaged in the development of tourism projects, hotels and resorts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is the force behind the management of the super-premium Sheraton Algarve Hotel and Pine Cliffs Resort in Portugal; part of the Starwood's Luxury Collection, and behind the Zanzibar Beach Hotel and Resort - the largest destination resort on the historic spice island.
In 2003 IFA acquired a 50% shareholding in the existing Zimbali Coastal Resort (www.zimbali.co.za) in South Africa which covers 3.7 million sq. metres (370 hectares) and the expansion of the resort will add a further 3.0 million metres (300 hectares). Additionally, IFA Hotels & Resorts purchased 1 million sq. metres of land to build the Zimbali Hotel & Resort a 300 bedrooms, five-star hotel, golf course and vacation club.
IFA Hotels & Resorts aims to line its resorts in Zanzibar, Palm-Jumeirah, Dubai, South Africa and Portugal with future planned resorts in Lebanon. This will offer tourists in Europe, the Middle East and Africa a unique network linking the company's respective hotels, resorts, timeshare and vacation club destinations.
ABOUT SUN INTERNATIONAL
Sun International forms the major part of the Kersaf Investment Group which is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa. Sun International invests in and provides development and operational management services in the hotel and resort industry. The portfolio currently comprises 22 hotels. These properties together with the related management activities generated revenues of R4.2 billion (circa $626 million) and EBITDA R1.3 billion (Circa $194 million) in 2003.
The Kersaf Investments Group is also invested in the City Lodge Hotel Group which operates an extensive limited services hotel chain in South Africa. The Kersaf Investments Group currently has a market capitalization of R3.5 billion (circa $522million)
For further information:
IFA Hotels & Resorts
Reem Al Ibrahim
Tel: +965 2403796
Fax: + 965 2407179
IFA Hotels & Resorts
Barbara Saunders, MCS/Action
Tel: +9714 390 2960
Fax: +9714 390 8161
IFA Hotels & Resorts
Fax: + 351-289-501795
IFA Hotels & Resorts
Related site: http://www.ifahotelsresorts.com