Dubai World unit sells Atlantis hotel to state fund
Luxury hotel is the government-owned investment company’s second disposal this year
Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD), the flagship holding firm of some of the emirate’s top companies, has acquired the Atlantis hotel from a unit of Dubai World for an undisclosed sum, ICD said on Thursday.
The sale adds to a series of asset disposals by Dubai World, which needs the proceeds to repay its massive debt after a $25 billion restructuring in 2011. The conglomerate had promised to sell non-core overseas assets as part of its debt-restructuring plan.
Atlantis, which sits at the head of a manmade island in the shape of a palm tree, was set up in 2008 as a joint venture between Dubai World’s Istithmar World and Kerzner International, with the former acquiring full control in April 2012.
This is Dubai World’s second disposal this year after selling British logistics warehouse developer Gazeley in June. It is close to selling The Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.
State-owned ICD has holdings in some of the emirate’s most high-profile brands, including Emirates airline, Emaar Properties and lender Emirates NBD.
“Our acquisition of an asset that is a major contributor to the domestic tourist industry is in line with our overall strategy to support long-term sustainable growth for Dubai,” Khalifa Al Daboos, deputy chief executive officer of ICD, said in the statement.
Istithmar World’s investment portfolio spans consumer, industrial and financial services, hotels and commercial property sectors. Among its assets are entertainment group Cirque du Soleil and the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York.
The investment arm, which made a spate of overseas purchases during the early part of the decade, was hard hit by 2009 global financial crisis as asset valued dropped sharply and access to credit dried up.
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