|September 03, 2008
Strategic partnership between Zabeel Capital and Light Group maintains momentum
Dubai, September 3, 2008: Dubai-based Zabeel Capital and The Light Group have announced the launch of Light Group Dubai – the leading hospitality development and management company’s first operation outside the United States.
The creation of Light Group Dubai marks a crucial step in the transfer of The Light Group’s distinct know-how and concepts to the GCC region and follows the joint venture partnership between the two companies in February 2008. The move strategically complements the vision of the UAE to be not only a premier global destination but to provide unique experiences to residents and visitors.
The launch of Light Group Dubai follows the opening last month of the highly anticipated Yellowtail Sushi restaurant located at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas – the Light Group’s fifth restaurant and it’s first since partnering with Zabeel Capital.
Zabeel Capital Managing Director Jbran Rahal said “In 1H08 the Middle East enjoyed the highest hotel room occupancy and average room rates globally at 74.3% and US$181 respectively. Combine this with the fact that more people than ever are visiting the region and airport expansion and development worth US$43 billion is now underway in the Gulf and the future is very bright for the region’s hospitality industry.
“The Middle East has experienced double-digit revPAR growth consistently for the last four years and analysts have predicted that 2008 will bring the same level of growth, despite the global economic turmoil, with the UAE remaining the regional hospitality and leisure frontrunner. The need for distinction and diversity in this industry is greater than ever before and that is exactly what Light Group Dubai will offer.”
As part of the initial plans Light Group Dubai will introduce some of the company's tried and tested dining and entertainment concepts from Las Vegas, namely The Bank and Fix. Both of the original outlets are located at the prestigious Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas and bring a distinct offering; from the luxurious to the contemporary the venues will provide a new level of hospitality to Dubai's nightlife. Light Group Dubai's management will be made up of seasoned hospitality professionals from both the United States and UAE, allowing the company to merge the relevant expertise and knowledge.
Andy Masi, Chief Executive Officer, Light Group commented “The launch of Light Group Dubai is not only significant because it marks an important milestone in our partnership with Zabeel Investments, it is also our first foray outside of the United States into what we see as one of the most dynamic hospitality markets globally. Our partnership and shared commitment with Zabeel Investments to creating distinct, high-end concepts is the driver behind our move to the UAE, and the launch of the Yellowtail Sushi Restaurant in Las Vegas.”
The partnership unites the experience and innovation of the Las Vegas-based Light Group with the ambition and expertise of Dubai-based Zabeel Investments, delivering a distinct offering to both the US and UAE hospitality and entertainment sectors as well as markets further afield.
Zabeel Capital Managing Director Jbran Rahal concluded: “When embarking on this partnership we highlighted that it would play a fundamental role in the development of the hospitality industry in the GCC and we are now delivering on that promise. The Light Group has opened and managed some of the most popular F&B and entertainment venues in the last couple of years in the US and the Dubai operation has a remit to bring world-class boutique dining and entertainment venues to the region.”
About Zabeel Capital
Founded in 2008, Zabeel Capital is a wholly owned investment holding which was formed by Zabeel Investments to take over its AED 3.67 billion global investment portfolio and focus on growing it across a multitude of sectors both regionally and internationally. The company now has a number of key investments including strategic equity stakes in European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Sony Corporation, as well as a fifty-percent stake in leading US-based hospitality and development management company, The Light Group.
About The Light Group
Based in Las Vegas, The Light Group is one of the United States’ leading hospitality development and management companies. Founded by Andrew Sasson and his partner, Andy Masi, the company will manage and operate The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences, one of the most luxurious, high-end boutique hotels across the globe opening in late 2009 at CityCenter, a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE and Dubai World.
The Light Group’s portfolio also includes several food and beverage properties at AAA Five Diamond Bellagio Resort & Casino, The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Monte Carlo Resort & Casino and Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. www.lightgroup.com