SAGIA Siraj Capital And DTZ Launch $500m Hotel Company

RIYADH, 26 February 2006 — In a pioneering move, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Siraj Capital Ltd. and DTZ of the United Kingdom announced the launch of “Siraj Hospitality Investment Company” (SHIC) with a paid up capital of $500 million. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form the SHIC, was signed here at the SAGIA headquarters following the announcement.

“SAGIA will play a key role in facilitating the establishment of SHIC and will provide ongoing assistance,” said Amr Al-Dabbagh, SAGIA governor. He said that the SHIC would invest in a number of hotels and hospitality projects in King Abdullah Economic City. Emaar Properties, the world’s largest real estate company, was the first to sign an MOU with SHIC, expressing its intention to invest $75 million in the company. The MOU was also signed by Al-Dabbagh, Dr. Ghassan Ahmad Al-Sulaiman, chairman of Siraj Capital and Simon Berrill, CEO of DTZ Corporate Finance. Speaking on this occasion, Mohammed Ali Alabbar, Emaar’s chairman, said: “We share Al-Dabbagh’s vision and Emaar looks forward to playing a key role in the development of the hospitality sector through the unique investment opportunity provided by the SHIC.” Emaar, the Dubai-based joint stock company, is expanding across the globe and its most recent international development is that of King Abdullah City.

Referring to the initiative to launch this prestigious company, Dr. Ghassan said that “all partners including Siraj Capital were proud to work with SAGIA and DTZ and we welcome the involvement of Emaar Properties. We look forward to the long-term economic benefits that the operations of SHIC will result in, through the development of the hospitality industry within the Kingdom and across the region.”He said that Siraj Capital’s objectives were to deliver attractive, risk-adjusted returns and prudent diversification for its investors. An investment subsidiary of the Jeddah-based Ghassan Al-Sulaiman Holding Company, specialized in developing, seeding and launching a range of innovative Shariah-compliant investment funds and investment opportunities, Siraj Capital has forged a strategic alliance with DTZ Corporate Finance.

“DTZ is a major global real estate service company with the largest presence of global real estate advisory firms in the Gulf region,” said Simon Berrill, DTZ’s CEO. Berrill said that “the launch of the fund augured well for the hospitality industry in the region, which is currently in a high-growth phase. The funds and the SHIC would play the role of a catalyst to spur further investments into this sector to meet the ever growing demand of both internal and external tourism.”

“The launch of SHIC comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is on the verge of a major hospitality growth phase, driven by a fast growing and young population and the government’s drive to attract more visitors,” said Berrill. The DTZ, he said, was expanding its operation in the Gulf region. The DTZ System, which has advised on close to $20 billion of real estate transactions in this region, has 9000 staff operating form 193 offices in 40 countries in which it is represented.

The DTZ has $3 billion of assets and hence, SAGIA as a service entity with objectives to provide services and facilities to promote investment and economic development in Saudi Arabia is a natural partner.

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