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Hanif Merchant talks about the sustainable benefits of Ruwaad’s ‘Amazulu World’ to KwaZulu-Natal and to South Africa

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Ruwaad, a UAE-based real estate, hospitality and tourism investment and development company, which recently announced plans to develop ‘Amazulu World’, a multi-billion dollar themed entertainment and mixed-use destination development on the north coast of Durban in South Africa, will work to the benefit of the KwaZulu-Natal province for generations ahead, according to Hanif Merchant, Chairman of Ruwaad and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal province, Sibusiso Ndebele.

“This development will have a significant, positive impact on the South African economy and will cause positive ripples in terms of the environmental, tourism and social benefits, ” explained Hanif Merchant. Ruwaad’s Amazulu World is expected to create more than 200, 000 new jobs, and will increase tourism to the region by almost 40% through attracting millions of tourists.

“This development will have a significant, positive impact on the South African economy and will cause positive ripples in terms of the environmental, tourism and social benefits, ” explained Hanif Merchant. Ruwaad’s Amazulu World is expected to create more than 200, 000 new jobs, and will increase tourism to the region by almost 40% through attracting millions of tourists.

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Hayan Merchant, Group CEO of Ruwaad explained some of its many key elements including Africa’s first world-class internationally branded entertainment theme park, a shopping destination, a sports village development, a lifestyle community and an education and health village – all of which will be the largest in Africa. “These will be developed in addition to hotels, resorts and spas, a marina, a variety of residential offerings, community facilities, and nature reserves, ” Hayan Merchant said.

The project by Ruwaad will be a master-planned, uniquely African destination development covering approximately 16, 500 hectares of land. “It will be the biggest and most comprehensive development of its kind anywhere in the African continent, ” added Hanif Merchant.

Ruwaad recently appointed a number of design, communication and corporate consultants for ensuring the development’s success, which include WATG, Jack Rouse Associates, XFACTA marketing, Deloitte and Cox Yeats.

Backgrounder

Ruwaad

Ruwaad is a real estate, hospitality, tourism investment and development company and a subsidiary of the Dubai 9 Group. Established in November 2006, Ruwaad’s key objective is to diversify and globalize the Dubai 9 Group’s portfolio of companies into the real estate and hospitality sector.

The company’s real estate developments are initially planned for the UAE and South Africa, with outlines for subsequent expansion into the MENA region and Asia through a combination of sustainable and integrated destination master-planned communities of residential and commercial properties and signature hospitality projects. Ruwaad aims to create distinct product concepts for each individual real estate and development project; ranging from pioneering entertainment parks and commercial premises for diverse business uses, to well-planned and well-designed residential and hospitality neighborhoods. Each development will be characterized by the utilization of a destination, integrated design, strategic location, the use of local and international brands, and sensitivity to the culture and heritage of the local community.

Ruwaad continually seeks to secure business partnerships with leading global brands in the lifestyle, hospitality, and tourism and leisure entertainment industry. In 2007 Ruwaad announced a key partnership with Paramount Pictures from Hollywood (part of Viacom Inc. – one of the largest entertainment corporations in the world) plans to develop a Paramount-themed destination at a development cost of USD 2.5 Billion. The project will comprise of theme parks, movie studios, residences, hotels, resorts and retail areas. Paramount Pictures provides a vast portfolio of intellectual properties, which includes Academy Award winning films such as Titanic, Mission Impossible and Braveheart;

In 2008, Ruwaad has announced Amazulu World, the largest development to be initiated in African history comprising a land size of approximately 16, 566 hectares (approximately 170 square kms). Amazulu World will be home to Africa’s first world-class internationally branded entertainment theme park, as well as Africa’s largest shopping destination, Africa’s most comprehensive and advanced sports village development, Africa’s largest lifestyle community and Africa’s first dedicated education and health village; alongside a number of hotels, resorts and spas, a marina, a variety of residential offerings, community facilities, and nature reserves.

The Team

The Founder and Chairman of Ruwaad is Mr. Hanif Merchant. The Group Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Hayan Merchant. Additionally, a senior team of experienced Ruwaad personnel has been selected to undertake the company’s forthcoming projects, alongside a complementary team of consultants that have international, national and local experience.

This senior team’s experience involves leading, developing and managing a number of world-class developments across the globe including:

• UK (Canary Wharf)
• France (Euro Disney Resort)
• United States (1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Disneyworld)
• Australia (Palazzo Versace Resort)
• Hong Kong (SeaWorld/ Ocean Park resort)
• Japan (Disneyland Tokyo)
• Malaysia (Mandarin Oriental Hotel)
• India (Lavassa Township)
• Qatar (Pearl Qatar Island)
• Singapore (Sentosa Resort)
• UAE (Dubai Festival City, Lagoons)

ruwaad-holdings.com

Dubai 9 Group

Established in 1971, the Dubai 9 Group was created as an investment company providing intellectual and financial resources to local, regional and international businesses by generating above-market returns for investors. Since its founding, the Dubai 9 Group has expanded to include a number of active companies in diverse industries across the UAE, and has helped to expand the operations of numerous UAE companies into regional and international markets. The Group currently employs over 3000 personnel in 11 different countries. The Chairman and Founder is Mr. Hanif Merchant.

Today, the Dubai 9 Group boasts a diversified business portfolio in the fields of visual communications, property and hospitality, media and advertising, human capital consulting and executive training, consumer electronics and manufacturing. The Group manages investments in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, North and East Africa, China, Australia and the UK. Dubai 9 Group’s current portfolio of companies includes:

• Emirates Neon Group (ENG)
• ENG Outdoor
• ENG Signage
• ENG Consultancy
• ENG Digital
• ENG Industries
• ENG Print
• ENG Media
• ENG Brand
• Ruwaad Holdings LLC
• Leading Concepts
• TopTronics
• Paradigmz

The Dubai 9 Group is also a stakeholder and founding member of Enshaa Holdings whose projects, directly and Emirates Sunland, include the Palazzo Versace Resort development in Dubai and the Palazzo Versace Resort on Australia’s Gold Coast; in addition to Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai International Financial Centre and Karachi Financial Towers in Pakistan.

Additionally, the Group pursues a clear, strategic mission of attracting internationally recognized brands and creating value through building long-standing alliances and partnerships in various sectors. In the education sector, the Group has the following key alliances:

• Stanford Graduate School of Business
• University of Michigan Business School
• Columbia Business School
• Creative Center for Leadership

dubai9group.com

See Also:
Ruwaad announces Africa’s largest ever themed entertainment and mixed-use destination development in South Africa, at Cityscape 2008
Allen & Overy advises Ruwaad Holdings on Dubai Theme Park Licensing deal with Paramount

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