IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) made a US$ 100,000 donation recently to the SA-Mali Project, an initiative taking place in Timbuktu that aims to preserve more than 30,000 African-Arabic medieval manuscripts, the contents of which still need to be uncovered and their stories told.
Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director of IFA HR stated: “The restoration and conservation of the Timbuktu manuscripts are a very important part of African-Arabic heritage. As a company founded in Kuwait with operations spreading across Africa, we feel a deep sense of responsibility in helping the SA-Mali Project achieve its aim to create a new building in which the restoration, housing and public viewing of these scrolls can be carried out.”
Werner Burger, President & COO of IFA HR, , said “Africa is of great importance to us as we currently have projects in South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and the Seychelles, with future plans to further grow in the region. We hope we’ll be in the position to give more back to the region and further contribute to helping contain its culture.”
The SA-MALI Project was formally initiated in May 2003. It was inspired by South African President Mbeki’s 2001 visit to Mali in which President Toure of Mali invited President Mbeki to tour the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu, which contains one of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in Africa. Moved by the cultural importance of these manuscripts, President Mbeki pledged South Africa’s support for the conservation and preservation of the manuscripts through upgrading of the Ahmed Baba Institute and promised to assist in training Malian conservators.
The most crucial and ambitious aspect of the project is no doubt the undertaking to construct a new building for the Ahmed Baba Institute. The objective of this new building is to operate as a centre that can accommodate the ever growing collection of manuscripts under optimum conditions for conservation repair and archival storage; to operate as a museum for the proper display of manuscripts (dating back to 1204); to operate as an institute of higher learning that can accommodate visiting researchers coming from far to study the contents of the manuscripts (given Timbuktu’s remoteness); and to provide administration offices for the running of the Institute. Construction is currently underway in Timbuktu and the final date for completion is identified as May 2008.
Al-Bahar concluded: “We are delighted to be a part of this commendable project and we look forward to the day of its completion when we can further explore the messages these manuscripts contain.”
IFA Hotels & Resorts – www.ifahotelsresorts.com
IFA Hotels & Resorts is a leader in the development of premier integrated and mixed-use hotel and tourism resort projects throughout Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, the Indian Ocean region and Africa.
IFA Hotels & Resorts’ activity in resort development began in the mid 80s with the acquisition and development of Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve, Portugal, through United Investments Portugal, which is part of the IFA Consortium.
The grandeur of Pine Cliffs provided the ideal environment for investment in the real estate sector as well as residential homes and resort living, and thus the consortium’s link with the hospitality sector developed. Today, IFA Hotels & Resorts sets the international benchmark for the development of world class integrated real estate development.
IFA Hotels & Resorts’ main operating office is located in Dubai, while it’s head office is in Kuwait. The company is run by Chairman and Managing Director Talal Jassim Al-Bahar along with President & COO Werner Burger and VPs in key markets across the globe including Portugal, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Lebanon, Kenya, Zanzibar and South Africa. IFA Hotels & Resorts is a specialist in resort development, and the company enjoys close links to premier hospitality operators such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, appointed to manage some of its developments both in South Africa and in Dubai.
IFA Hotels & Resorts listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in January 2006, with a market capitalisation of over US$ 1 billion. The company also listed on the South African JSE Limited (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) during 2006 with plans to list on other major exchanges in the future. In January 2007, the company invested in listed Thai developer Raimon Land.
Globally, IFA Hotels & Resorts has entered into strategic alliances and joint venture partnerships with leading companies such as Kingdom Hotel Investment Group (Saudi Arabia), Nakheel (UAE), Istithmar (UAE), United Investments (Portugal), a strategic alliance with RCI (part of the Cendant’s Group), Moreland Developments (Pty) Ltd (South Africa), Boschendal Ltd. (South Africa), Raimon Land (Thailand) and most recently Ohlthaver & List (Namibia).
IFA Hotels & Resorts aims to link its resorts to new parts of the globe, such as the US, the UK, the Indian Ocean and Eastern Europe. This will offer investors and tourists access to world class facilities through a network of hotels, residential resorts, vacation and residence club destinations.
IFA Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Projects:
IFA Hotels & Resorts is the largest investor on The Palm Jumeirah.
• The Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort – A 400 room 5 star hotel on the trunk of The Palm Jumeirah.
• The Fairmont Palm Residence - 558 luxury apartments. (www.fairmontpalmresidence.com)
• The Palm Residence - Al Nabat and Al Haseer - two shoreline residential buildings on the trunk of The Palm Jumeirah, with 246 apartments.
• The Palm Golden Mile development - A joint venture project with Istithmar. A project featuring 860 luxury apartments, 19,500 sq. metres of office space and 22,000 sq. metres of retail space comprising boutique shops and restaurants, all stretching along 7.8 hectors of park land. (www.thepalmgoldenmile.com)
• Kingdom of Sheba - A 1,000 key destination on the Crescent of The Palm Jumeirah (adjacent to Atlantis) comprising residences (Balqis Residence), a Hotel (Fairmont Kingdom of Sheba), Vacation Club (Fairmont Vacation Club, Kingdom of Sheba), Private Residence Club (Fairmont Heritage Place, Kingdom of Sheba) and a souq (retail plaza) – all to be managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. (www.kingdomofsheba.com)
• Laguna Tower – A 40 storey mixed-use tower located in the Jumeirah Lake Towers, next to the Dubai Marina, comprising residential apartments and a hotel-residence managed by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, the Movenpick Hotel & Residence Laguna Tower Dubai, in addition to retail and restaurants along the waterfront. (www.lagunatower.com)
• Alabadiyah Hills - A luxurious mountainside retreat in Bhamdoun, overlooking Beirut. This 7.5 hectare project will consist of high-end residential villas, townhouses and apartments, in addition to a world renowned spa and beauty clinic, which will be managed by Kempinski Hotels. (www.abadiyahhills.com)
• Four Seasons Hotel Beirut - IFA Hotels & Resorts is also a shareholder in this upcoming development.
• IFA Hotels & Resorts is the force behind the super-premium Sheraton Algarve Hotel (www.luxurycollection.com) and Pine Cliffs Resort (www.pinecliffs.com), part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection.
• Zimbali Coastal Resort & Zimbali Lakes Resort - IFA Hotels & Resorts owns a 50% share in the luxurious resort, a 700 hectare prime residential and resort estate located on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. (www.zimbali.co.za)
• Zimbali Lodge - IFA Hotels & Resorts owns the exclusive Zimbali Lodge, managed by Sun International Limited. (www.zimbalilodge.co.za)
• The Fairmont Zimbali – A new 154 hotel key resort, with a unique portfolio of freehold properties including 57 apartments, 17 ultra luxury villas, 20 golf chalets and 10 villas incorporated into a Fairmont Heritage Place Private Residence Club, all to be managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. (www.fairmontzimbali.com)
• Boschendal Limited - A mixed- use resort development at an historic Cape Estate. (www.boschendal.com)
• Lonrho Hotels – IFA Hotels & Resorts is a shareholder in five Lonrho Hotels in Kenya (www.lonrhohotels.com)
• Mövenpick Resort & Spa – Zanzibar- Located on the historic Tanzanian spice island, with joint venture partner Kingdom Hotel Investments, the new resort will be re-opened in the last quarter of 2006 and will be managed by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. (www.zanzibarbeachresort.com)
• IFA Hotels & Resorts formed a joint venture with Ohlthaver & List and introduced Kempinski Hotels to operate all four of the joint venture hotel properties within the Namib Sun Portfolio: The Strand Hotel, King’s Den Lodge, Mokuti Lodge and a fourth hotel to be developed in Windhoek. (www.ohlthaverlist.com)
• YOTEL – IFA Hotels & Resorts is the majority investor in the two YOTEL hotels in Heathrow and Gatwick. (www.yotel.com)
• IFA Hotels & Resorts owns approximately 24.9% of listed Thai real estate developer, Raimon Land. The Raimon Land portfolio includes: The Lofts Sathorn, The Lakes, The Legend Saladaeng, Northshore (Pattaya), Kata Gardens (Phuket), The Heights (Phuket), Northpoint (Pattaya), The Lofts Yannakart (Bangkok) and The River (Bangkok). (www.raimonland.com)
Investment and Hospitality products:
IFA Hotels & Resorts’ programme of brand acquisition and developer partnerships will continue into the future, illustrated by the ever growing strength of its product range:
• IFA - Hotels & Resorts
• IFA - Lifestyle Membership Clubs
• IFA - Vacation Ownership
• IFA - Fractional Ownership
• IFA - Hotel Ownership
• IFA Residences
• IFA Properties
• IFA Yacht Ownership
• IFA Jet Ownership
• IFA – Travel & Tourism
This unique product range enables IFA Hotels & Resorts to continuously anticipate and deliver to the varying property investment and leisure requirements across the globe.