The acquisition of the V&A Waterfront by commerce and trading holding com- pany Dubai World and the subsequent expansion of the company’s offices and staff complement in Cape Town are a strategic move by the Dubai-based company, to expand its investment concerns in Africa, reports the company.
The new office expansion plans by Dubai World will extend to new premises adjacent to the current regional office at the Waterfront, while the recently renovated Winder- mere building situated at the V&A Waterfront will house the Dubai World Africa Services development team.
Dubai World aims to extend the V&A Waterfront in order to attract more businesses and retailers, and the company will also partner with South African entrepreneur Sol Kerzner to build a luxury hotel on the premises.
The State-owned company will also upgrade its newest acquisition in the Cape, the Pearl Valley Golf Estate, by building a five-star hotel and 60 private apartments on the estate.
The V&A Waterfront consortium, Dubai World and London Regional Properties have made a number of improvements to the Waterfront since the 2006 takeover in a three-stage development strategy, in preparation for the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup.
A four-year development strategy was established for this purpose and includes landscaping and beautification measures, commercial facilities, new hotels and resorts, entertainment areas, marinas, new shopping developments, apartments, offices, a train station, and improved connections to the airport.
A careful and selective recruitment drive took place, in the last few months, to fill senior management positions in the Cape Town office in anticipation of the rapid expansion of Dubai World’s interests in Africa, reports the company.
“Dubai World’s expansion into Africa is the realisation of a vision which aims to significantly impact on the growth and development of the African continent by partnering key stakeholders in identified African countries who share the dream of building a sustain- able economy for Africa, and creating thousands of jobs for Africans while adding significant value to our investment portfolio,” says Dubai World chairperson sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
“Our offices in Cape Town are symbolic of our long-term commitment to the region,” he adds.
“We are involved in real estate developments across the globe but there are few places which offer such potential as Cape Town’s waterfront,” adds Sulayem.
Dubai World Africa Services CEO James Wilson says that the Dubai World Cape Town offices will serve as development and servicing offices to Dubai World Africa.
“Our rapid expansion into Africa has necessitated a fully-fledged office where the projects into Africa will be launched. The V&A Waterfront, Pearl Valley Golf Estate, Nkomazi Wilderness, in Mpumalanga, have proven to be hugely successful investments in South Africa,” he says.
Dubai World, which acquired the joint ownership of the V&A Waterfront with London Regional Properties for $2-billion in the last quarter of 2006, reports that it has already experienced exceptional growth in Africa.
The holding company, which manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai government, reports that it will continue to pursue future African prospects through its investment arm, Dubai World African Services.
Dubai World plans to extend the success of these investments to other African territories, such as Djibouti, where the company intends to develop a beachfront, expand the existing five-star hotel accommodation and develop luxury villas, a casino, restaurants , as well as a world-class conference centre, reports Wilson.
He says that development plans are under way on a signature golf course in Rwanda, as well as luxury accommodation from which the endangered gorilla species may be viewed.