Monday 22, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Hometown Fund Management Limited (Cayman Islands) and Gateway Investment Management Services are proud to announce the establishment of the Hometown Dubai Hospitality Fund II Limited. The fund is domiciled in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and is one of the first funds to be established in the DIFC under the Qualified Investor Fund regime.

The fund is designed to contribute to Dubai’s booming hospitality market through investment in a diversified portfolio of grade A residential property in key freehold destination areas in the city, converting them into branded, designer vacation and executive serviced apartments. The fund is expected to generate an attractive and sustained income on the managed portfolio for the benefit of the fund unit holders. This strategy has been successfully adopted by the sponsors of the fund on the back of the successful closing of the Dubai Hometown Hospitality Fund I, the first fund in the series, back in 2013.

The sponsors plan to raise a total of USD 200 million for the final closing of the fund and list the closed ended fund on a recognised exchange in due course. The first closing of the fund is targeted for the first half of 2016.

Speaking about the planned launch of the fund, Hometown Fund Management founder and managing director Walid Shihabi said: “I believe that the time is now ideal for the launch of such a product in the Dubai market, as the freehold residential property market in Dubai has become deep and liquid, and is ripe for more significant institutional participation. I believe that the fund will be one of the largest consolidators of residential freehold property in the city, and will prove to be a more efficient means for investor exposure to this potentially lucrative market. Adopting the proven “Holiday Rentals” model, popularised by such global online portals as Airbnb, will target generating superior returns compared to standard residential rents for the portfolio. I believe that we have achieved the proof of concept for this strategy through the successful launch and subsequent three-year track record achieved by our first fund”
Fund Chief Operating Officer at Gateway Investment Management Services, Marc Hambach, added:” We are proud to be associated with this innovative product, which seeks to maximise returns on a diversified portfolio of managed residential properties, by leveraging Dubai’s enviable track record in attracting guests. The fund’s owned units will be operated under the Hometown brand of licensed holiday and executive apartments, which is fast becoming the standard bearer for this young sector in Dubai and beyond.”
Speaking about the latest development, Mr. Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “The launch of the second Hometown Dubai Hospitality Fund demonstrates DIFC’s commitment to facilitating investment in Dubai’s vibrant property sector. The new fund offers prospective investors a secure income stream based on a managed portfolio reflecting the latest trends in short-term lettings booked through online portals. This new offering is a testament to the DIFC’s willingness to support innovation and provide a congenial business environment. It demonstrates our steady expansion in line with our 2024 Growth Strategy, which aims to position Dubai as one of the world’s leading financial centers by the end of the strategy time frame. Through enhancing our regulatory infrastructure, we will ensure that Dubai can maximise its potential as a financial hub ideally positioned to take advantage of the fast-growing Middle East, Africa and South Asia markets and the South-South trade corridor.”