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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Manchester City owner buys St Regis hotel on Saadiyat Island from TDIC

The St Regis Saadiyat complex – hotel, 259 apartments and 39 villas – was developed by TDIC and opened in 2011.
The hotel would continue to operate under the St Regis brand. Christopher Pike / The National
The hotel would continue to operate under the St Regis brand. Christopher Pike / The National

The owner of Manchester City football club has bought the St Regis hotel on Saadiyat Island and many of the villas and apartments around it from the Abu Dhabi government-owned developer Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC).

Apartment and villa residents were informed this week that Abu Dhabi United Group Investment & Development, the private equity company formed to take over Manchester City in 2008 and owned by Sheikh Mansour, had bought the St Regis Saadiyat complex, which was developed by TDIC and opened in 2011. The price was not disclosed.

The purchase includes the 377-room hotel, as well as 190 of the development’s 259 apartments and 10 of its 39 villas.

In a letter to residents, the property manager CBRE said that the building would be operated by Abu Dhabi United’s tourism and hospitality arm, Abu Dhabi United Hospitality.

“Not all of the apartments and villas have been included in the sale,” Paul Fanning, the head of property management at CBRE, told The National. “Many of the St Regis Residences villas and apartments have already been sold off to purchasers previously, so only the unsold properties are included in the sale.”

Mr Fanning confirmed that the hotel would continue to operate under the St Regis brand.

The sale is the latest by TDIC, the master developer of Saadiyat Island, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Cultural Authority (TCA) and has a history of selling off completed projects either to investors or to the state.

Last year TDIC sold the first phase of its nearby Saadiyat Beach Residences, comprising 285 apartments, to Mubadala Pramerica, a joint venture between the United States-based property investor Pramerica and Mubadala Development, the Abu Dhabi strategic investment company.

TDIC has also offloaded a number of its key completed hospitality assets including the Qasr Al Sarab hotel near Liwa and the Manarat Al Saadiyat visitors’ centre on Saadiyat to its parent company TCA.

The sale will also provide TDIC with a much-needed cash boost. Last year the company, whose bonds are traded on the London Stock Exchange, reported a Dh1.13 billion loss amid a writedown of more than Dh600 million on hospitality assets.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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