Dubai Powerhouse

Dubai Powerhouse Makes First Move into Latin America Market

Nakheel, the state-controlled Dubai developer, has purchased a half interest in a Mexican resort, its first foray into Latin America. Nakheel paid $315 million (€213 million) for the 50 percent share of the One & Only Palmilla, a high-end resort and condo development outside Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Baja California.

Palmilla is renowned as one of the swankiest resorts in the Cabo area. It includes a 172-room hotel, a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a 22,000 square-foot spa and 13 spa villas. Palmilla is operated by Kerzner International, which is developing a water-themed resort in Nakheel’s Palm Jumeirah. Kerzner will keep its 50 percent stake in Palmilla; Nakheel bought out real estate funds managed by Goldman Sachs & Co.

But the real news here is that Nakheel, which has something like $60 billion worth of projects in its portfolio, is looking to put its stamp on yet another region.

“Latin America is very important in the global tourism market and this deal marks our first entry into this lucrative region,” said Nakheel Hotels chief executive Joe Sita in a press release. “We are always seeking to diversify our portfolio and add to our existing investments in North America, Asia and Europe.”