As an emerging market with very strong investment proposition, investor-confidence and interest in the Nigerian economy has continued to rise with more and more investors—individual and institutional, local and foreign—seeing opportunities in the country’s real estate and hospitality sectors.
Africa, especially countries of the Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and others have, in the past couple of years, seen considerable growth owing to demographics, increased spending power and softening of the economy of the developed countries.
In all of this, the Nigeria market remains a focal point for Africa-bound foreign investments and this is understandable from the standpoint of the country’s demographics, fast-paced urbanization, growing middle class with strong spending power, rich oil resource and its status as a trading economy.
“We have not confirmed any plan to do any additional hotel projects in West Africa yet, but Nigeria is strategic and key part of our consideration for further investment in West Africa. We are definitely looking to invest in Nigeria. Nigeria is a considerable focus to us. We believe in that country and it is just an accident of timing that we are not yet there. But surely, this is something we are looking closely at”, Ivor McBurney, Kingdom Hotel Investments’ (KHI) Vice President of Finance, Development Projects, told Nigerian journalists on facility tour of their projects in Ghana.
KHI is a leading international hotel and resort real estate investment company headquartered in Dubai with focus on emerging markets. It has a balanced portfolio of hotel properties in upscale and luxury market segments and has built a diversified hotel and real estate portfolio with access to 18 operational hotels in 13 countries across four continents. The company’s strategic hotel partners are Four Seasons Hotel and Resort, Fairmont Raffles Hotels and Resort, Movenpick Hotels and Resort, Swissotel and Intercontinental.
With investment in North Africa (Egypt and Morocco) and Sub-Saharan Africa where they have invested in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia, McBurney sees a great future for the hospitality market in Sub-Saharan Africa and, according to him, “the hotel industry in West Africa, given the level of economic development, is reaching a new level of luxury and sophistication; that is how I think the industry is going to develop in the near future”.
He disclosed that their investment model involves developing a hotel project and looking for a particular real estate asset that will go with the hotel, citing Accra in Ghana where they developed 260-room Moevenpick Ambassador Hotel and “looking at the market, we saw that there was need for a retail space, and in addition to this, we are developing high end residential real estate called the Ambassador Heights”.
Robert Davis, Ambassador Heights’ Sales Manager, explained to the visiting journalists that as a luxury residential development rising adjacent to the Moevenpick Ambassador Hotel, Ambassador Heights comprises only 18 homes aimed to complete the first 5 Star mixed used development in Ghana.
“Ambassador Heights will deliver a taste and lifestyle never seen before in Accra. Homeowners within this exclusive community will enjoy the services and amenities of the surrounding hotel enclosed within the comfort of a beautiful, safe, and secure environment”, he assured.
Continuing, he said, “positioned across the land to the north and west of the Moevenpick Hotel, and surrounding one of West Africa’s largest pools and most impressive sets of amenities, Ambassador Heights offers three and four-bedroom city homes with individual gardens for private ownership”, adding that homeowners will enjoy world class design and build quality in addition to the luxury services of the hotel including swimming pool, spa, fitness, restaurants, retail, meeting and event facilities, housekeeping, in-room dining, laundry, valet, porter services, and much more.
According to him, interest in the residences has been phenomenal with over 50 percent of it coming from Nigerian investors who, he assured, would enjoy fabulous return on investment in terms of high value appreciation and rental yield which he estimated at 10 percent per annum.