Dubai World Africa has acquired a major shareholding in the world-famous South African wildlife reserves Shamwari Game Reserve (pictured), Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and Jock Safari Lodge, members of the Mantis Collection.The deal 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 includes the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and the Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa, both in Cape Town, South Africa, Kempinski Beach Resort and Residences in the Comores, One & Only Zanzibar,Djibouti Palace Kempinski and Nyungwe, Akagera National Park and Gorilla’s Nest Lodge all in Rwanda, amongst others.
Shamwari Game Reserve opened to the public in 1992, and in a short period established itself for 10 consecutive years as the World’s Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve. Shamwari is the ultimate African Adventure and conservation initiative, coupled with responsible tourism.(www.shamwari.com)
Jock Safari Lodge is situauted inside the borders of the world renowed and outstanding bio-diversity of the Kruger National Park. Jock was the first private concession in the park (view www.jocksafarilodge.com) and was awarded the Business Partner of the Year Award for 2007.
Sanbona Wildlife reserve located between Montagu and Barrydale in the Western Cape is 2? hours drive by car from Cape Town. This reserve is 54 000 hectres in extent of pristine Karoo landscape (view www.sanbona.com)
“This collection of top-end resorts represents a sound opportunity to co-invest in the South African hospitality sector. Each resort is superbly located on prime land with excellent development opportunities. This transaction affords the prospect to grow both the South African economy and tourism demand,” says Dubai World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem (pictured). “Our investment into game reserves demonstrates our commitment to South Africa and we are strongly focussed on establishing a leading conservation based company in South Africa”.
Founder of Shamwari and Mantis Collection Adrian Gardiner will continue as both managing director and shareholder of the three reserves. Gardiner has spearheaded 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. Shamwari was recently named the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and the World’s Leading Conservation Company at the prestigious World Travel Awards in a gala ceremony in the Turks & Caicos, Caribbean.
Gardiner says “The Joint Venture with Dubai World Africa is a dream come true. I have always believed that the foundations laid and the recognition of his team’s work both nationally and internationally at the Reserves, will now be available on a world wide basis. The view of Dubai World Africa is that the environment and conservation need to be the hallmarks of all new developments and the Joint Venture will enable both parties of the venture to fully realize these important global issues. Shamwari pioneered wildlife tourism in the Eastern Cape and the Group looks forward to using this valuable expertise in the many opportunities that will become available with the partnership of Dubai World.”
“We are extremely proud of everything that has been established and achieved at each of these reserves. Dubai World Africa is well positioned as an active shareholder to provide expert marketing, sales and development expertise, access to development sites and other strategic relationships which will contribute to and enhance the continued success of Shamwari, Sanbona and Jock,” says Gardiner. He stresses that principles on which these resorts were founded will endure with this transaction.
The Dubai state-owned company has rapidly and firmly established itself as a contender in Africa’s elite property stakes. Dubai World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has indicated that the company will invest about $1,5 billion in Africa over the next five years.
James Wilson (pictured right), CEO of Dubai World Africa explains that both Shamwari and Sanbona are within the proximity of the popular tourism destinations of Cape Town and the Garden Route.
“Direct daily flights between Dubai and Cape Town by Emirates Airlines serve to benefit both tourism and the local economy while 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 create an even further attraction,” notes Wilson. “Shamwari and Sanbona are complementary to the V&A Waterfront, and all are highly sought-after by tourists”.
Accordingly, conservation is also an important focus area of the business, which has established Dubai World Conservation Africa as a holding company for a number of prime game reserves in Africa. Wilson explains that an additional benefit of this transaction is the gain of excellent game management skills which will be applied elsewhere in the Dubai World Group.
“Dubai World has long identified South Africa as a sound investment. We see many good opportunities and we are here for the long term,” says Sultan Bin Sulayem.