The National Investor acquires Mafraq Hotel in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 3 April 2007: The National Investor (TNI), one of the region’s leading merchant banking firms, has acquired the Abu Dhabi Mafraq Hotel, previously owned by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC). The transaction has now been closed and the ownership of the hotel has been transferred to TNI as of April 1, 2007.

TNI plans to redevelop the property at a cost of around AED 70 million. This will be implemented in three stages: Construction of new adjoining 115-rooms, four-star hotel, refurbishment of the hotel’s existing 120 rooms to international standards, and addition of commercial space linking the existing and new hotels

“These are exciting times for TNI. The move is consistent with our strategy of expanding our presence in key markets. We believe that the addition of the Mafraq Hotel to our unique portfolio of properties will create value for all our shareholders and be a strong contributor to TNI’s long-term growth and profitability,” said Mr. Orhan Osmansoy, TNI Chief Executive Officer. “The Mafraq Hotel has enormous potential and we look forward to moving ahead with the many opportunities related to the hotel’s assets”.

According to Mr. Emile Habib, Managing Director of TNI’s Real Estate Division, design development will begin in April 2007. Construction of the new hotel will take 18 months to complete, while the refurbishment of the existing hotel will be completed in around eight months. Situated on a plot of land of around 29,000 square meters, the hotel was opened in 1996 and refurbished later in 2006.

The Hotel is located at the heart of a newly-developed area in Mafraq, close to the Dubai-Saudi highway. It is only ten minutes away from Abu Dhabi’s International Airport and 20 minutes away from the city center and Musaffah Industrial Area. While certain demand may originate from leisure travelers due to the hotel’s proximity to the airport, Mr. Habib expected primary demand to come from the corporate segment in the industrial areas of Musaffah and Free Zone.

He also anticipated that the Hotel’s occupancy rates for the next couple of years would remain high at around 85 per cent. According to government figures, the number of tourists visiting Abu Dhabi is expected to increase from 800,000 visitors at present to three million visitors annually by 2015. Hotel rooms are also expected to increase to 9,886 rooms by 2010.

About The National Investor: The National Investor (TNI) is a privately owned regional investment and merchant banking group. The firm comprises seven strategic business units covering investment and merchant banking, private equity, asset management, real estate, investment research, principal investments and client advisory.

As a regional firm TNI operates from Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE and is currently developing operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The firm provides a wide range of investment, advisory and fund management services to a substantial client base that includes listed and unlisted companies, financial and government institutions and high net worth individuals.

Over the last twelve years, TNI has been successful in positioning itself amongst the region’s most trusted and reputed financial institutions. With a proven track record across all of its lines of business, the firm ranks as the leading arranger of public share offerings with total transaction value exceeding AED 9.9 billion. The firm focuses on delivering consistently superior results in line with its growing reputation as a regional leader. As the financial environment evolves, both regionally and globally, TNI’s goal remains unchanged: “guiding you towards success.”