Home » Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris sells UAE tourism company for $40 million

Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris sells UAE tourism company for $40 million

Divestment aligns with portfolio streamlining efforts under Samih Sawiris’ son, Naguib Samih Sawiris.

by Omokolade Ajayi
Samih Sawiris

Key Points:


  • Orascom Development Holding sells its UAE subsidiary, RAK Tourism Investment, for $40 million.
  • Sale reflects ODH’s strategy to streamline its portfolio and focus on core assets in hospitality.
  • Buyer Saqr Kamal Hasan, a UAE investor, assumes $18 million of RAK’s debt, significantly lightening ODH’s financial burden.

Orascom Development Holding (ODH), a Swiss real estate holding company majority owned by Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris, has sold its shares in its UAE-based tourism subsidiary, RAK Tourism Investment FZC (RAK), in a deal valued at $40 million.

The move comes after the company, led by Samih Sawiris’ son, Naguib Samih Sawiris, entered into a binding share purchase agreement with Cove Holdings Limited. Cove Holdings is a special purpose vehicle owned by UAE investor Saqr Kamal Hasan.

Orascom Development Holding sells RAK for $40 million

The $40 million transaction includes the entire share capital of RAK, which holds leasehold rights to The Cove Rotana Hotel, a 349-room luxury resort in Ras Al Khaimah. ODH, which holds a 73 percent stake in RAK, along with other shareholders, will receive approximately $23 million in cash proceeds.

This strategic divestment aligns with ODH’s ongoing portfolio streamlining efforts, focusing on core assets and optimizing capital allocation. Additionally, the buyer, Hasan, will assume roughly $18 million of RAK’s debt, significantly reducing ODH’s overall debt burden.

The Cove Rotana Hotel will continue to be managed by Orascom Hotel Management, a subsidiary of ODH, during the transition period expected to close by Q3 2024. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Orascom Development Holding: Hospitality leader in 7 countries

Orascom Development Holding (ODH), renowned for developing fully integrated towns, was founded in 2008 by Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris following the merger of Orascom Projects for Touristic Development and Orascom Hotels and Development.

The group’s diversified portfolio includes 33 hotels with a total of 7,198 rooms and spans seven countries, including Egypt, UAE, Oman, Switzerland, Morocco, Montenegro, and the United Kingdom. Its notable destinations include El Gouna, Taba Heights, Makadi Heights, O-West, and Byoum in Egypt; The Cove in the UAE; Jebel Sifah and Hawana Salalah in Oman; Luštica Bay in Montenegro; and West Carclaze Garden Village in the UK.

Samih Sawiris passes torch to son at Orascom Development Holding

After nearly 30 years at the helm, Samih Sawiris stepped down as chairman of ODH in December 2021. His son, Naguib Samih Sawiris, took over in May 2022 after serving as Vice Chairman of the Board from 2020 to May 2022 and as a board member from 2016 to 2020.

Naguib Samih Sawiris, continuing his father’s legacy, drives the asset management of a multinational private investment portfolio and is an active venture technology investor. He is the founder and Chairman of Yup Technologies Inc., an education technology company based in San Francisco.

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