Kasada Capital acquires Umubano hotel in Kigali, Rwanda

RWANDA – Kasada Capital Management, an independent investment platform within the Kasada Group, dedicated to hospitality in Sub-Saharan Africa has acquired the former Umubano hotel in Kigali, Rwanda.

The investment platform has also disclosed a commitment to spending US$40 million on upgrading the Umubano hotel to a five-star.

Umubano Hotel, located in Kacyiru, a high-end neighborhood of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city will be rebranded and improved into a 100-key Mövenpick hotel in accordance with international standards. It is set to open in 2025.

According to Rwanda Development Board, the Kasada hotels are operated under the banner of Accor’s wide range of internationally famous brands, with investments dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Mövenpick hotel brand is represented in more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

“We are pleased to attract the largest hospitality platform to Kigali to rejuvenate this hotel with its long and storied history,” Clare Akamanzi, CEO of Rwanda Development Board, said in a statement.

She pointed out that Kasada, backed by Qatar Investment Authority, stood out with its combination of sector expertise, financial scale, and design proposal.

Its upgrade comes after RDB put it on sale in 2020, on the condition that the successful investor should turn it into a five-star hotel within the shortest time possible.

Then, RDB announced that it would work with the new investor to turn the hotel into a flagship that will meet various local and international environmentally sustainable standards to attract local and international clients.

Umubano hotel one of the oldest hotels in Rwanda, had been acquired by the Madhvani group at a cost of US$13 million in April 2017. This was after years of bankruptcy.

“We look forward to supporting them in the re-development of this iconic asset,” Akamanzi told media in a previous event.

Though Kasada aims to retain the star architectural aspects of the Umubano hotel, the renovation program will ensure the building meets the highest international hospitality and ESG standards (EDGE and Safe hotels certification).

In the Statement released this month, Olivier Granet, CEO and Managing Partner, Kasada, said they consider Rwanda to be among the most promising countries for investments as a fast-growing international destination.

“This is an ambitious and exciting project to transform this unique place into a landmark, perfectly connected to the local environment, for the benefit of international visitors while becoming the ‘place to be’ for local residents,” Granet said.

The rebranding of the hotel into a Mövenpick hotel, with the addition of health and spa facilities and co-working spaces, is anticipated to create a unique and iconic destination in Kigali for both international and domestic guests.

Umubano hotel has been in the hands of various other investors, including the Libyan government-affiliated LAP Investments which operated it under the Laico Hotels brand before the announcement to put it on sale in 2011.

It has also previously been managed by global hotel brands including Novotel, Meridien, and Accord.

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