Dubai World Africa, the African subsidiary of Dubai World, one of the world's largest holding companies,has acquired major shareholdings in South Africa's world-famous Shamwari Game Reserve, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Cape province and Jock Safari Lodge, concession lodge in the Kruger National Park. All three entities are members of the Mantis Collection.
The acquisition is in line with the Dubai World Group's strategy to acquire high-end assets in key destinations across the world. The three well-established game reserves will enhance Dubai World Africa's portfolio of prime African properties, which include the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and the Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa, both in Cape Town.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Dubai World Chairman, said: "The acquisition of these top-end resorts represents a sound opportunity to co-invest in the growing South African hospitality sector. Each resort is superbly located on prime land with excellent development potential. The deal presents a highly prospective growth opportunity for South African economy."
"Dubai World has long identified South Africa as a sound investment base. We see many good opportunities and we are here for long term. As we have said earlier, the company intends to invest about $1.5 billion in Africa over the next five years," Bin Sulayem added."We are strongly focused on establishing a leading conservation-based company in South Africa," he said. "African wildlife is precious. It has much more value than as a tourism attraction. Dubai World sees this as a commitment to protect the reserve as well as encourage tourism.
"James Wilson, CEO of Dubai World Africa, said that both Shamwari and Sanbona are within the proximity of the popular tourism destinations of Cape Town and the Garden Route."Daily direct flights between Dubai and Cape Town by Emirates Airlines serve to benefit both tourism and the local economy. Another key Dubai World Africa asset, the new One & Only luxury hotel presently under development at our key South African property, the V & A Waterfront, will become an even bigger attraction,"Conservation is also an important focus area of the group, which has established Dubai World Conservation Africa as a holding company for a number of prime game reserves in the continent.
Adrian Gardiner, founder of Shamwari and Mantis Collection, will continue as both managing director and shareholder of the three reserves. Gardiner has endorsed the philosophy of responsible and ecologically sensitive wildlife and tourism development in South Africa, supporting the local environment through community development projects and conservation of resources.
"We are extremely proud of everything that has been established and achieved at each of these reserves. Dubai World Africa is well positioned to provide expert marketing,sales and development expertise, access to development sites and other strategic relationships which will contribute to and enhance the success of Shamwari, Sanbona and Jock," said Gardiner. The current management at Mantis Collection head office as well as all game reserve management and employees will remain in their positions.