Dubai World plans to invest $1.5 billion in Africa

Dubai World intends to invest Dh5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) in Africa, a top official said, while meeting Nigerian leadership on Friday. ( Gulf )

" Nigeria is a major destination for Dubai World and a key country in our overall plans for the African continent, where we intend to invest over $1.5 billion in the next few years. We have already launched some highly potent ventures in some African countries and are looking for more," Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, said.

Bin Sulayem met Nigerian President Umaru Moosa Yar'Adua in the capital Abuja to discuss opportunities in mining, energy, ports and urban development.

During his talks with the Nigerian President, Bin Sulayem highlighted the diversified nature of Dubai World, and expressed keen interest in the country's vastly untapped natural resources, with special emphasis on minerals and mining as well as development of new cities, downtown hotels and resorts.

Investment opportunities in the expansion of a new port in Lagos, a fertiliser plant and the energy sector also came under discussion, in addition to the masterplan and development of special cities (business cities) in Nigeria.

"Historically, Nigeria is a major trading partner of Dubai, and the purpose of our visit is not only to augment these ties, but to identify ways and opportunities to strengthen them further for the mutual benefit of both," Bin Sulayem said.

"President Yar'Adua welcomed Dubai World investments in the country, and expressed his desire for further cementing economic ties with Dubai in the form of partnerships and joint ventures in various fields," he added.

Bin Sulayem, and a number of senior Dubai World officials are on a tour of West Africa, exploring investment opportunities in the Sub-Saharan region.

Dubai World officials also met a number of Nigerian ministers and discussed plans for investments in ports and the possibility of setting up specialised logistics bases in the country.

Saeed Ahmad Saeed, CEO of Limitless, discussed plans for the new main district of the Nigerian capital Abuja, and various real estate developments in the nation of around 141 million people. Specialised business cities within the country were also discussed.

A team of experts from Limitless will travel to Abuja next month to evaluate opportunities in the country and finalise various masterplans and development deals.

Nigeria was Dubai's leading West African trading partner in 2007, accounting for more than Dh1.12 billion in non-oil imports, exports and re-exports.

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