COLONY Capital, one of the world’s biggest real estate companies, has entered the UAE market with an agreement to join Istithmar to buy out Kerzner International, which is building Atlantis hotel on the The Palm, Jumeriah.
The Dh13.25 billion deal, which includes Dh2.2bn of debt, marks the UAE debut of Colony, which is run by Thomas Barrack Jr, recently labelled by Fortune magazine as the ‘world’s best real estate investor’.
Colony was also part of a consortium with Grupo Satocan Lopesan of the Canary Islands that was awarded development rights to a $2 billion tourism infrastructure project that is part of Morocco’s Plan Azur. The development, designed as a world-class tourist destination, will include several four and five-star hotels, two golf courses, and several residential, leisure and retail facilities. Construction starts at the end of 2006, the first hotels are expected to open in 2008. Plan Azur is Morocco’s bid to attract 10 million tourists by 2010 and will create six integrated resorts along the country’s coast.