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Zabeel buys into Las Vegas leisure firm

Dubai, February 20, 2008

A Dubai-based investment firm said on Wednesday it had bought a 50 per cent stake in Las Vegas-based hospitality company The Light Group to expand its hotel and restaurant business into the Middle East.

Zabeel Investments, which was part of the emirate's purchase of a stake in Airbus parent EADS last year, did not say how much it paid for The Light Group stake in a statement.

'Our goal is to develop the hospitality industry in the UAE and across the region,' Zabeel Executive Chairman Mohammed Al-Hashimi said in the statement.

As part of the deal, Zabeel would bring Light Group's Harmon Hotel, a private brand that it said is environmentally-friendly, to the UAE, the second-largest Arab economy.

Dubai, home to man-made islands shaped like palm trees and an air-conditioned ski slope in the desert, attracts more tourists each year than any other Arab destination outside Egypt.

Other Dubai investors have also taken interest in US assets. Investment group Dubai World last year started accumulating shares in MGM Mirage, saying it planned to invest up to $5.2 billion into the world's second-largest casino operator.-Reuters




Tags: Stake | Zabeel | Las Vegas | Light Group |

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