Consortium aims to create 'Riviera of SA'

The Dubai World and London & Regional Properties consortium on Thursday announced plans to invest more than $1-billion in the V&A Waterfront over the next four years, following its successful purchase of the development last month.

The consortium has outlined a three-stage development strategy, the first of which will see landscaping, additional parking space, commercial facilities and improvements to pedestrian access to the area.

The second stage, over the next three years, will ensure the V&A Waterfront is one of the highlights of the World Cup 2010, with the development of new hotels and resorts, creation of promenades, and entertainment areas, marinas, new shopping developments and new apartments and offices.

The third stage will see the development of new facilities to consolidate V&A Waterfront’s status as a leading global resort, with potential elements including a new yacht club and further marina development, a cruise ship terminal, a train station and improved connections to the airport.

The details were announced by James Wilson, chief executive of Nakheel Hotels & Resorts, a Dubai World company which will be leading the development of the Waterfront on behalf of the consortium.

In a speech in Cape Town, he said: “Our vision is to create the Riviera of South Africa, developing a resort that will become a global attraction.

“We are bringing the resources, skills and expertise that have transformed Dubai to this exciting development, building on the strong foundations already in place. By partnering with world class brands and developers, we aim to take the Waterfront to the next level.”

Speaking at the IPD/SAPOA Property Investment Conference in Cape Town, James Wilson showed initial drafts of the master-plan for the development, which have been created by leading international planners WS Atkins and Partners Overseas.

Hassen Adams, a member of the BEE consortium, said: “The reason we originally approached experts in Dubai and the UK to join our consortium is that we wanted partners who could not only think big but deliver big.
We wanted to work with someone who could help us bring the soul back to the Waterfront. That is what this project will see.”

The bulk of the new developments could be completed before 2010, when South Africa hosts the Soccer World Cup.

Wilson said: “The World Cup in 2010 is a massive opportunity for South Africa to showcase itself on a global stage. We plan to make sure that Cape Town is seen as one of the highlights, with a waterfront to rival any in the world.

“But we are also looking to the long-term, with plans that ensure the Waterfront becomes one of the leading tourist destinations in the world.” - I-Net Bridge

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