Mena Serviced Residence Holding (Nuzul Holding) BSC (C) and Ascott International

Date : 29 November 2006

Nuzul Holding BSC (C) and Ascott International, the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States have secured two serviced residences in Bahrain and Qatar.

Ascott International today signed management contracts with Nuzul Holding BSC (C) for the two serviced residences - the 118-unit Somerset Juffair, Manama City in Bahrain and the 200-unit Somerset Corniche, Doha in Qatar. Nuzul Holding BSC (C) is the holding company set up by Addax Investment Bank (Addax) in June this year to source for, acquire and develop the serviced residences.

Ascott International will manage these two properties for 10 years with an option to renew the contracts for another 10 years.

These properties are two of at least 15 serviced residences to be launched across the Middle East and North Africa by 2010 under the master development agreement signed between Addax Investment Bank and Ascott International in April this year.

Under the agreement, Addax Investment Bank will set up and manage a US$1 billion investment fund to finance the acquisition and development of the serviced residences. Ascott International will manage the serviced residences, provide technical consultation on the development, design and renovation as well as create marketing and branding programmes for the properties.

The signing ceremony is held today in conjunction with the office opening of International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) in Doha. IE Singapore is a government agency to help Singapore-based companies grow and internationalise successfully. Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong will officiate at both events. Ascott’s signing ceremony and IE Singapore’s office opening are part of a business mission to Saudi Arabia and Qatar organised by IE Singapore in which Ascott is one of the 17 participating companies from Singapore.

Mr Yip Hoong Mun, CEO Asia Pacific & Gulf Region, Ascott International said: “The Gulf region is an important growth market for Ascott International. Our strategy is to gain a foothold in the key gateway cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Bahrain is the financial and oil refinery hub of the region, while Qatar is expected to remain one of the region’s top economic performers over the next two to three years.”

“Hotels in the GCC region enjoy high occupancy due to a shortage of quality accommodation. With the upcoming Asian Games in Doha, there is a surge in demand for lodging. In addition, given the region’s strong economic, foreign investment and tourism growth, we expect an increasing demand for serviced residences from expatriates, inter-state travellers and international travellers to the Gulf region,” said Mr Ali Al Obaidli, Chairman, Nuzul Holding BSC (C).

The two properties, Somerset Juffair, Manama City and Somerset Corniche, Doha, are targeted to be opened in the first half of 2007.

Somerset Corniche, Doha
The 200-unit Somerset Corniche, Doha is located in West Bay, the new district in Doha and the new commercial centre of Qatar. The property is located in a diplomatic area. It overlooks the coast and offers a scenic view of the Arabian Gulf. The property is a short walk to the City Center Mall, one of the largest shopping complexes in the Gulf region. The property will have two and three bedroom units. There is also a gymnasium for residents’ use.

Somerset Juffair, Manama City
The 118-unit serviced residence offers a scenic view of Manama City, the capital of Bahrain. It is located near the coast in Juffair, overlooking the bay of Al Muharraq Island. Juffair is an exclusive residential area, home to many young expatriates and it has some of the finest dining locations in the country. Somerset Juffair will offer one, two and three-bedroom units. Facilities include a swimming pool and a gymnasium.

Ascott opened its first property in the Gulf region, Somerset Jadaf, Dubai in July this year and the property is operating at 90% occupancy. With the two serviced residences in Bahrain and Qatar, Ascott will have a global portfolio of 17,393 serviced residence units in 45 cities in 20 countries.

About Nuzul Holding BSC (C)

Nuzul Holding BSC (C) has an authorized capital of US$500 million and a paid up capital of US$100 million. Nuzul Holding BSC (C)’s mission is to raise the standard of serviced residences in the Middle East market. Nuzul Holding BSC (C) aims to acquire and develop a at least 15 serviced residences across the Middle East and North Africa by 2010. The serviced residences will be managed and operated by Ascott International, the leading international serviced residence owner-operator with over 17,000 serviced residence units in key cities across the world.

Nuzul Holding BSC (C) recently announced the acquisition of its first two properties, one in each Bahrain and Qatar. These properties are expected to be operational in the first half of 2007.

Nuzul Holding BSC (C)’s list of shareholders consists of some of the leading institutional investors in the region. The company’s Board of Directors comprises the following: Mr.Ali Al Obaidli and Mr. Ghassan A. Al Binali representing Barwa Real Estate Company ; Mr. Mohammed Salem AlNashwan, representing Hartt Consulting; Mr. Hamid Alqumairi, representing Saudi Economic & Development Company ; Mr. Isa Mohamed Habib, representing Al-Imtiaz Investment ; Mr. Yousef Al Essa and Mr. Saleh Al Shehri representing Addax Investment Bank ; Mr. Mohamed A.Aziz Al Saad, The First Investor and Abdulla Jobar Al-Rumaihi, representing The General Retirement & Pension Authority of Qatar.

About Ascott International

Ascott International is a subsidiary of The Ascott Group - the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with to over 17,000 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.

Ascott International manages three brands –Ascott, Somerset and Citadines in 45 cities in 20 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, Hong Kong, and Chennai in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand as well as Doha, Dubai and Manama City in the Gulf region.

Ascott International’s achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include ‘Best Serviced Apartment’ at TravelWeeklyChina’s 2006 Industry Awards (TBC), 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand in China’ award by Business Traveller China, ‘Best Serviced Residence’ at TTG Travel Awards 2006, the top honour at the 2006 World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific’s 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards. For a full list of awards, please visit :

The Ascott Group is headquartered in Singapore. It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. It also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, the Group boasts a 22-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed real estate companies. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 80 cities in nearly 20 countries.

For more information on The Ascott Group’s property listings, visit