Hyatt Hotels & Resorts to Operate Second Five-Star Property in South Africa

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts to Operate Second Five-Star Property in South Africa

2010 Opening of Hyatt Regency Oubaai Builds Hyatt's Presence in Africa

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Affiliates of Global Hyatt Corporation and MAK Hotel Holdings, a member of the M.A. Kharafi Group, today announced the signing of a definitive management agreement for the 100-room Hyatt Regency Oubaai, due to open in George, South Africa in early 2010. The resort will be Hyatt's second hotel in South Africa, following Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, which opened in October 1995.

The M.A. Kharafi Group acquired the Oubaai site in 2000, which is situated on 600 acres of prime real estate with sea and mountain views, with the express purpose of developing a premier luxury golf and lifestyle estate. In 2007, the estate was awarded the Best Resort in South Africa by the International Property Awards and Best Golf Resort in the Southern Cape by Professional Management Review.

The M.A. Kharafi Group has invested in excess of ZAR 650,000,000 (US$86 million) to date in the Oubaai site, and this investment will increase to more than ZAR 920,000,000 (US$115 million) upon completion of the hotel and retail complex, anticipated in early 2010.

Hyatt Regency Oubaai will be part of the picturesque Oubaai Golf and Lifestyle Centre, a 315-acre upscale residential and golf development on the Garden Route, which extends along the Western Cape from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Overlooking the Indian Ocean on Harold's Bay, the development will also feature Ernie Els' first 18-hole championship golf course in South Africa and a Lifestyle Centre and Golf Academy. The resort is located just five minutes from George Airport, in an area renowned for its pristine beaches, indigenous forests and native reserves.

The development will also consist of residential villas and apartments and an upscale shopping center.

"South Africa is one of the world's fastest-growing holiday and business destinations, with endless opportunities for visitors of all interests," said Gebhard Rainer, managing director of Hyatt Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"The opening of Hyatt Regency Oubaai is part of Global Hyatt's initiative to expand its brands in Africa. We are particularly proud to be associated with this development, in an idyllic setting overlooking the Indian Ocean. The opening of our second property in South Africa will increase Hyatt's presence in the region, and we look forward to welcoming our loyal guests to South Africa," added Rainer.

Leading designers have been selected to complete the Hyatt Regency Oubaai including Quadtvisir Architects and interior designer Lionel Levin.

The development's 18-hole links-style Ernie Els designed golf course was completed two years ago and is now fully operational. The majority of the residential and individual plots located within the development are now sold and under construction.

Additionally, a lifestyle center is already under operation and offers a sport shop, tennis courts, swimming pools, squash courts and other amenities.

"Hyatt's commitment to luxury and its international presence has given us the initiative to take the group on board as the hotel of choice for Oubaai. We are confident that the global travelers coming to South Africa in 2010 will be able to experience a one-of-a-kind African getaway with the availability of first-class leisure facilities," said Mohamed Fahmy, managing director of MAK Hotel Holdings a member of the M.A. Kharafi Group.

About Global Hyatt Corporation

Global Hyatt Corporation, one of the world's premier hotel companies, offers today's travellers more than 730 hotels and resorts (more than 140,000 rooms) in 45 countries. The company's affiliates own, operate, manage and franchise Hyatt-branded hotels and resorts under Park Hyatt™, Grand Hyatt™, Hyatt Regency™, Hyatt Resorts™, Hyatt®, Hyatt Place™ and Hyatt Summerfield Suites™ brands, as well as the company's newest global luxury brand, Andaz™, which recently opened its first property in London. Global Hyatt Corporation is also the owner of Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc., operator of Hyatt Vacation Club and fractional residential properties, and U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc., which franchises Hawthorn Suites and Microtel Inns and Suites. From the U.S. and Canada, reservations for any Hyatt hotel worldwide may be obtained by calling 1-800-233-1234, or logging on to www.hyatt.com.

About M.A. Kharafi Group

Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi & Sons Company (M.A. Kharafi Group) is a private Kuwaiti based group with diverse interests and activities worldwide. Established as a trading company more than 100 years ago, it has since developed into a large multi-national company principally covering construction, manufacturing, IT, Aviation, Fast Food franchises, Agriculture, Real Estate and Hotels.

From 1956 with the advent of the construction boom, due to build-up of oil wealth in the region, Kharafi's Construction Division quickly established a dominant presence, expanding in response to the demands of a rapidly growing nation. It today presents its clients with an unrivalled fully integrated offering, and is able to cope with virtually any type of civil engineering or construction project, having worked in some 25 different countries alongside some of the world's foremost contractors and consultants.

A Grade 'A' International Contractor, the M.A. Kharafi Group has undertaken projects in the G.C.C., Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and Eastern Europe and has permanent branches located in the GCC, MENA , Africa and Europe.

In addition to its principal areas of activity the M.A. Kharafi Group also owns Americana, the largest food company in the Middle East, an airline, and investments that include Kuwait's leading financial institutions and other companies listed on the stock exchange.

With an annual turnover of over US$4 Billion the M.A. Kharafi Group now operates in more than 25 countries and has more than 100,000 employees worldwide.

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