A luxury hotel in Tripoli, part-owned by Dubai World, has swapped holidaymakers for reporters as conflict forces many hotels in the Libyan capital to close their doors.
International Hotel Investments, in which Istithmar World has a 22 per cent stake, owns the property that is known as one of the city's most luxurious, the Corinthia Hotel Tripoli. While other operators have closed their hotels, the Corinthia is still doing business.
Joseph Fenech, the managing director of International Hotel Investments, said between 60 and 90 of about 300 rooms in the Corinthia hotel were occupied each day, with journalists and "protocol people" the majority of guests.
The Malta-based hotel company in which Libya's sovereign wealth fund is a major shareholder says it is "business as usual", despite the freezing of the state's assets.
International Hotel Investments, which develops luxury hotels under the Corinthia brand, has recently opened another property, in London's Whitehall, that is 50 per cent owned by the Libyan Foreign Investment Company (Lafico).
"We are allowed to carry on with our business uninterruptedly for an indefinite period as long as we observe the sanctions," said Mr Fenech. "It has not impacted our ability to keep on trading."
The sanctions mean any money owed to Libya through share dividends, repaid capital or interest has to be put in a frozen account.
"We firmly believe that the sanctions were aimed not at where these entities are invested, but at the entities themselves," Mr Fenech said.
He said Lafico and its parent, the Libya Investment Authority, had investments in companies such as Fiat, Juventus, UniCredit and the Pearson group, and were allowed to operate normally as long as they observed the sanctions.
Istithmar acquired 33 per cent of International Hotel Investments for €178 million (Dh946.8m) in 2007. But last April it reduced its stake by a third as its parent company Dubai World grappled with debt issues.
The London Corinthia is in the building that housed the historic Metropole hotel. Dubai World originally bought a one-third stake in the property, with Lafico and International Hotel Investments purchasing the remainder. It later sold its share to the other two companies.
The Dubai company recovered the £35m (Dh210.5m) it had injected into the property, Mr Fenech said.
He said Istithmar had now "stabilised" its position in International Hotel Investments.