JLL advises on landmark sale of Faarufushi Maldives resort
SINGAPORE, 22 October 2021 – JLL (NYSE: JLL) Hotels & Hospitality Group today announced that it has completed the sale of the Faarufushi Maldives resort. The property is located on the Raa Atoll, Maldives, and the sale of the 80-key upper-upscale resort that opened in 2019, reinforces the confidence investors are placing in the longer-term future of the leisure travel market.
The buyer of the property is the Italy-based Emerald Collection, who agreed to purchase the Faarufushi from the Maldives-based Universal Enterprises. The transaction marks Emerald Collection’s second investment into the Asia Pacific, following their entry into the region through the Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa.
Significantly, the sale launch of the Faarufushi Maldives, completed due diligence, contract negotiation and transaction closing all occurred within 2021, irrespective of ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty within the travel industry.
“JLL is proud to have facilitated the sale of the Faarufushi Maldives, completing all elements in the transaction in 2021. This transaction further reinforces the belief from many investors that leisure travel is poised to rebound strongly given the pent-up demand and further reaffirms the Maldives position as one of the most liquid hospitality markets in Asia Pacific,” says Nihat Ercan, Senior Managing Director, Head of Investment Sales, Asia Pacific, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group.
The property was sold vacant possession and as the new owner, Emerald Collection will take-over all operations. Located at the northern tip of Raa Atoll, the property is conveniently accessible via a 50-minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport, Male, as well as via a domestic 40-minute flight to Ifuru Airport, followed by a short 10-minute speedboat ride to the island.
“The forward-looking vaccination and border policy in the Maldives enabled the transaction to take place, with numerous members of purchaser team and their advisors flying into the country from Italy. Furthermore, the same policy gives investors’ confidence that the Maldivian market will be one of the quickest to rebound given the introduction and implementation of progressive policies,” says Adam Bury, Executive Vice President, Investment Sales & Head of Debt Advisory, Australasia, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group.
The sales of the Faarufushi Maldives marks JLL’s second deal of the year in Maldives and 18th in total representing a combined value of over US$1.3 billion. In May 2021, JLL advised on the first Maldives hotel transaction since 2019, representing the seller of the Kanuhura Maldives, a five-star resort with 80 villas.