Nobu to enter Egypt with two luxury hotels through Aldar unit Sodic

Nobu Hotel and Residences will be opened in West Cairo’s New Zayed development and Sodic's North Coast project in Ras El Hikma

Struan Mckenzie, chief operating officer of Nobu Hospitality, Trevor Horwell, chief executive of Nobu Hospitality, Ayman Amer, general manager of Sodic, and Heba Makhlouf, chief investment officer of Sodic, during a signing ceremony. Photo: Aldar
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Nobu Hospitality will be entering the Egyptian market with two new developments, through a unit of Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties, adding to the growing luxury hotel portfolio in the Arab world's most populous country.

The Florida-based hotel brand – headed by actor Robert De Niro, film producer Meir Teper and chef Nobu Matsuhisa – will make its foray through Egyptian real estate developer Sodic, which is owned by Aldar and Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar said in a statement on Friday.

Sodic will spearhead the development of two Nobu Hotel and Residences, one each in West Cairo’s New Zayed development and Sodic's North Coast project in Ras El Hikma, as well as a Nobu restaurant.

“The expansion of Sodic's luxury property development portfolio underscores the demand for new real estate concepts in prime locations in Egypt and Aldar’s belief in the long-term growth potential of the market,” Talal Al Dhiyebi, group chief executive of Aldar Properties and chairman of Sodic, said in the statement.

Aldar is Abu Dhabi's biggest listed developer.

“We are confident that these developments will not only solidify Sodic's market-leading position but also cater to the increasing demand for distinctive and high-end properties we are witnessing across the growing West Cairo and North Coast markets.”

Egypt continues to tap into its tourism and hospitality industries to boost an economy that has was hit by Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. In addition to lost tourism receipts, the war has led to a large capital outflow, a higher food import bill and soaring inflation.

The country has a number of world-renowned tourist attractions, including 2,000 archaeological sites and six Unesco world heritage sites that include the Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor and the temples of Aswan. It also features coastal destinations on both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Cairo has laid out plans to increase its visitor numbers by between 25 per cent and 30 per cent annually as it pushes to hit 30 million tourists by 2028, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said earlier this year.

Egypt’s hotel occupancy rate rose to about 80 per cent in the first half of 2023, up from 65 per cent in the same period of 2022, government data showed last month.

Nobu's expansion into Egypt is part of a portfolio of 21 properties that are being developed, according to its website. This includes agreements with Aldar to open two in the UAE – on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island and Ras Al Khaimah's Marjan Island.

Aldar announced an exclusive partnership with Nobu in November to launch a new luxury hotel, which will have 165 guest rooms and suites, and a rooftop Nobu Villa, at the upmarket Mamsha Al Saadiyat in the UAE capital.

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It is expected to open in 2026. Alongside the hotel, the development is planned to have the first Nobu restaurant in Abu Dhabi, as well as the first branded Nobu residences in the Middle East and the second worldwide.

In Ras Al Khaimah, Nobu Al Marjan Island, a project by Enevoria Development, was announced in January. The property will span 70,000 square metres, and comprise a Nobu hotel, 300 branded luxury residences and the first Nobu restaurant in the emirate. A completion date has not yet been announced.

Cairo-based Sodic, or Sixth of October for Development and Investment Company, reported revenue of 2.7 billion Egyptian pounds ($87.4 million) and sales of 8.2 billion pounds in the first half of 2023.

Updated: September 01, 2023, 1:02 PM