Dubai World Rwanda tourism projects still on

Istithmar World‘s current tourism investment projects in the country are likely not to be affected by the financial woes of the parent company, Dubai World. The company is currently concentrating on two major projects in Rwanda, which are already underway according to officials. They projects include, Gorilla’s Nest and Nyungwe Eco Forest Lodge.
Chantal Rugamba of RDB. (File Photo)
Chantal Rugamba of RDB. (File Photo)

Istithmar World‘s current tourism investment projects in the country are likely not to be affected by the financial woes of the parent company, Dubai World.

The company is currently concentrating on two major projects in Rwanda, which are already underway according to officials. They projects include, Gorilla’s Nest and Nyungwe Eco Forest Lodge.

“Regarding investments in Rwanda, we have not received any indication of change of strategy from the previous report,” Chantal Rugamba, the deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of ORTPN at Rwanda Development Board told Business Times.

This follows a major announcement made by Dubai World earlier this year, that it would scale down its investments in Rwanda, preferring to concentrate on the two projects. 

This is in contrast to the initial investment plan of up to $230 million (approximately Rwf130 billion) mainly in the hospitality industry announced almost two years ago.

The company intended to invest in eight tourism facilities, including luxury hotels, a residential golf course development, residential, high-end eco lodges, and the 1,080 square kilometre, Akagera National Park.

“In partnership with the Rwanda government, Dubai World will initiate a golf foundation, through which a percentage of golf course revenues will be allocated to the promotion of the game for local residents, especially the young, through a golf academy and other initiatives,” Dubai world announced in 2007.

However, the Middle East giant company attributed the change of investment plans to the effect of the global financial crisis.

In a related incidence, last week Istithmar’s parent company hit news headlines after requesting, its financiers to freeze and extend its debt obligations maturities for a period of six months.

However , in a press release posted on Istithmar’s website on Monday , Dubai World says while it is considering  alternatives in respect of the debt obligations of certain entities within the Group, Istithmar is not affected by the process.

“The process will not include Infinity World Holding, Istithmar World and Ports and Free Zone World (which includes DP World, Economic Zones World, P&O Ferries and Jebel Ali Free Zone), all of which are on a stable financial footing,” the statement reads in part.

The proposed restructuring process will only relate to Dubai World and some of its subsidiaries including; Nakheel World and Limitless World.

According to the Press Statement, the total value of debt carried by these companies, amounts to approximately $26 billion, of which approximately $6 billion relates to the Nakheel sukuk.

Dubai World’s which is largest holding company manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai government across 100 different cities in the world.

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