Sultan Bin Sulayem, chairman of Istithmar's parent company Dubai World, said:
"This investment marks another important sign of our commitment to South Africa. Pearl Valley offers the chance to create a truly unique destination, wholly complementary to our investment in the V&A Waterfront. We will commit all resources necessary to achieve that goal."
The Premier of the Western Cape, Mr Ebrahim Rasool, said: "The Government of the Western Cape welcomes yet another major investment by Istithmar in our Province. They have shown unbelievable faith in the growth potential of our economy. We are sure that they will be rewarded with great returns by 2010 and beyond".
David Spencer, chief executive of Leisurecorp, said: "Pearl Valley is one of South Africa's most stunning golf courses, with challenging holes, spectacular views and - most important for us - huge potential. It is rightly regarded as one of the best courses in the country, a fact endorsed by its hosting of the South African Open later this year."
Currently, Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa has one 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course, a 4,500 square metre clubhouse and a 500-home gated residential community surrounding the course.
Spencer confirmed that Leisurecorp would look to expand the facilities at the development, with initial options including an additional 18-hole championship course, an equestrian centre and water sports facilities, further homes and residences, and one or more additional luxury resort hotels. He emphasised that any further development would be managed sensitively, in keeping with the beauty of the surroundings, and would be carried out in consultation with the current residents and all the relevant local authorities. It is hoped that the expanded resort will be ready for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2010 as Pearl Valley has already had several approaches from leading international football federations looking to accommodate their players.
Spencer also said that the company would look to build brand synergies between Pearl Valley and its Jumeirah Golf Estates development in Dubai. Jumeirah Golf Estates has brought together the world's leading golfing and course design superstars, to create Dubai's premier residential golfing community. Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and "the father of modern golf course design", Pete Dye, are working on creating one of the world's most distinctive golf developments.
Four courses - Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind - will pay tribute to the power of nature, each employing the distinctive characteristics of its own surroundings to deliver a unique challenge. They will be surrounded by the most desirable residential communities in Dubai, with luxury homes characterised by beautiful space both inside and out.
Spencer said: "Jumeirah Golf Estates has an incredibly powerful offer and we want to investigate ways to leverage that strength internationally. Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate and Spa won't lose its name or identity - but we will look for ways that its members and residents can benefit from the wider Istithmar family."