Dubai World Africa, the South African-based investment arm of Dubai World, and Singita Game Reserves will seek more joint ventures following a deal signed by the two companies this week. Dubai World Africa on Monday signed an agreement to acquire a 50 per cent stake in Singita's Kruger National Park concession of two Relais and Chateax lodges - Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni.
The amount of investment was not disclosed. "This was the first time we have sold our stakes and the reason we did it is because we are looking into managing some of Dubai World's properties in Africa, so this is just a start to our business relationship," said Mark Witney, the chief operating officer of Singita. Situated at the confluence of the Nwanetsi and Sweni rivers, the 15,000 hectare property is located along South Africa's border with Mozambique on the far eastern reaches of the Kruger National Park. Singita Lebombo has 15 luxury, loft-style suites, while Singita Sweni Lodge has six suites.
"Dubai World has accessed and sourced great opportunities in Africa and this deal could pave the way for us to explore the possibilities of more new tourism ventures together," Luke Bailes, the chief executive of Singita, said in a statement. Mr Witney added that over the coming months the company expected to sign a management contact with Dubai World to manage its properties in Rwanda. "There is no final deal yet, but we have expressed our interest in the Rwanda properties and hopefully we will be able to manage other properties that Dubai World owns."
Last year, Dubai World said it would invest about US$230 million (Dh844.8m) in eight tourism facilities in Rwanda, including a hotel and a residential golf course development in the capital Kigali and lodges in the Akagera and Volcanoes national parks. The properties will be developed and managed through the Dubai World investment arm Istithmar Real Estate. The company has properties in Mozambique, Djibouti, Comoros, Zanzibar and South Africa, while in Rwanda, high-end properties that are under construction include the Akagera Safari Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nyungwe Forest Lodge and the Kigali Residence, Hotel and Golf Club.