UAE-based Ghassan Aboud Group acquires Vincent Hotel in Australia for AED257mn (US$70mn)

Acquisition positions Ghassan Aboud Group as the largest independent owner of five-star hotels and resorts in Australia. Ghassan Aboud said the company aims to further strengthen in investments in diverse sectors in the UAE.

Dubai, UAE: Ghassan Aboud Group, the UAE-based global business conglomerate, has announced the acquisition of Vincent Hotel, formerly known as The Fantauzzo in Brisbane, Australia. This establishes the Group as Australia’s largest independent owner of five-star hotels and resorts. It is also one of the first major transactions in hospitality sector negotiated and concluded during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.

Vincent Hotel will add to the Crystalbrook Collection, a subsidiary company of Ghassan Aboud Group, which was founded by Ghassan Aboud as a hospitality management entity in 2016. Currently, the Group's hospitality and real estate investments in strategic locations in Australia are valued at $1 billion, all of which are managed by Crystalbrook Collection.

Ghassan Aboud, founder of the Group, said: "The acquisition of Vincent Hotel in Australia underlines the financial strength of our organisation, driven by the enabling environment offered by the UAE where we are headquartered. This is one of the largest transactions we have conducted in the hospitality sector.”

The Syrian entrepreneur added the Group plans to expand his business in several core sectors in the UAE including retail, automotive, e-commerce, and trade and distribution, adding that the nation provides an advanced infrastructure and facilities for foreign investors.

The six-storey Crystalbrook Vincent is located in the heart of Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves beneath the iconic Story Bridge. It has 166 rooms and a suite, the Fuime rooftop bar and the famous Italian Polpetta restaurant as well as a rooftop pool and a 24-hour fitness centre. The hotel features over 500 paintings by accomplished artist Vincent Fantauzzo. Fantauzzo is renowned for his award-winning portraits including a portrait of the late Heath Ledger, released weeks before his passing.

The deal was negotiated by CBRE hotels, stating the deal indicates the interest of investors in the recovery of the hospitality sector and the strong presence of Crystalbrook Collection with a presence in Sydney, Byron Bay, Cairns, Newcastle, and Port Douglas.

With a strong focus on sustainability, the hotel does not use single-use plastic and has 100% waste-free bathrooms where everything is reusable, recyclable or biodegradable. The hotel also minimises its food carbon footprint by ensuring that at least 80% of all produce served within the hotel is sourced within a three-hour radius. Further, it has embraced advanced technology to reduce the need for waste through paperless check in and check out and in-room tablet control centres.

"I love what Crystalbrook Collection is doing with sustainability," says Vincent Fantauzzo. "This is something very important to me personally - it opens the door for exciting new collaborations which I hope will enhance guest’s experience and inspire creativity."