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the first stage of development of the Victoria and Alfred (V&A)
waterfront in Cape Town gets under way, South Africans are keen to
discover what the UK-Dubai buyers are planning and what roll-on
benefits the sale may have for the country, and its construction and
tourism sectors, in particular.
Dubai World spending
$1-billion at Cape Town's Waterfront and introducing expertise that
turned Dubai into an iconic city
The government and the privatesector have expressed the hope that
South Africa’s benefits from the sale will not be limited to the
fixed capital that the international buyers are expected to invest
and attract,but will extend to the wealth ofexperience in timely,
cost-conscious construction that the Middle East developers bring to
(The Burj Dubai, which the city is determined will be the tallest
building in the world – the final height has not been made public to
avoid competitors catching up – is being built at the rate of a new
level every three days.) David Spencer, who heads the leisure
business of Istithmar, the private equity arm of government-owned
Dubai World, says the world’s fastest growing city has
muchexperience to offer South Africa, particularly in light of the
government’s formidable R409-billion infrastructural-investment
Istithmar earlier this year partnered with London & Regional, of the
UK, and a black economic-empowerment (BEE) grouping in a successful
$1-billion bid for thelucrative V&A development.
The waterfront attracts over 22-million people every year.
In keeping with the fast-trackapproach, technical planning for the
development had already begun two weeks after the transaction had
been inked, Spencer says.
In an interview with Engineering News at the Dubai World
head-quarters, he and Nakheel Hotels & Resorts (also part of Dubai
World) CEO James Wilson speak optimis-tically, not only on prospects
for the development of the waterfront and further investments in
South Africa, but also – contagiously so – on the country’s ability
andpreparations to host the Fifa World Cup in 2010.