2006 Press Releases

Dubai Financial Acquires License for Thomas Cook in the Middle East
  • DF Furthers its Strategy in broadening the Thomas Cook Brand

Dubai: UAE, Oberursel - 3 August 2006: Dubai Financial (DF), a subsidiary of Dubai Investment Group (DIG) - the global financial investor of Dubai Holding - has obtained the license to use the Thomas Cook brand in the Middle East, in addition to its acquisition of Thomas Cook Overseas Ltd. and Thomas Cook Lebanon S.A.L..

Earlier in the year, Dubai Financial acquired Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. (TCIL).

Thomas Cook Overseas Ltd. (TCO), a 100 percent subsidiary of Thomas Cook UK Ltd., bundles the group's activities in Egypt. Thomas Cook has had a long history with Egypt dating back to 1869.

Thomas Cook Lebanon S.A.L., founded in June 2004, operates a travel agency and a currency exchange in Beirut. The Lebanon operations conduct corporate and leisure travel, inbound travel and foreign exchange services including money transfers and travellers cheque transactions.

Soud Ba'alawy, CEO of DIG, said: "The acquisitions complement our investment in TCIL, as we implement our growth strategy beyond the Subcontinent under the Thomas Cook brand.

"Innovators in foreign exchange, Thomas Cook's strong business-to-consumer brand and global footprint will help drive Dubai Financial's presence in the travel and financial services industry.

"The company has an in-depth understanding of the Middle East region, which perfectly complements our strategy to strengthen the regional presence of Dubai Financial", added Ba'alawy.

In January 2006, Dubai Financial acquired Thomas Cook International Markets, UK, which gave it a controlling interest in Thomas Cook India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka and licences to operate in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Thomas Cook AG's main business is the sale of package holidays, components and services that are tailored to customers' specific requirements, utilising the full breadth of its sales channels.

Dubai Financial has the licenses for using the Thomas Cook brand for Leisure Inbound and Outbound Businesses, Corporate Travel Management and Financial Services in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

About Dubai Financial

Dubai Financial (DF) evolved from a fund management entity to become the direct investment vehicle for Dubai Investment Group. Its core practice is the identification and acquisition of financial services companies, to build long term value through state-of-the-art governance.

Identifying opportunities across the banking, foreign exchange, brokerage and asset management sectors and with a particular focus on the developing Islamic banking industry, Dubai Financial will reinforce the Group's position as the principal entity mandated to drive its activities in the regional and international markets.

Among its investments, Dubai Financial owns a 70% stake in Dubai Bank, 35% ownership in Marin Financial Group, a leading banking institution in Greece, and 68% of Thomas Cook India Ltd., India's leading Travel and Foreign Exchange house. Dubai Financial has, most recently, acquired the rights of Thomas Cook in 15 countries in the Middle East including UAE and Saudi Arabia. Current discussions are on for acquiring a significant stake in a bank in Malaysia, with possible investments in Indonesia and Turkey in the near future.

About Dubai Investment Group (DIG)

DIG is the global financial investor of Dubai Holding. Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, with local offices in New York, London, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, the Group focuses on long and short term investments with the potential to deliver exceptional and sustainable returns.

DIG is structured as a conglomerate of investment companies with core investment expertise in Finance, Global Securities, Real Estate, Hospitality and Industry. The Group creates and manages a diversified and rapidly expanding portfolio of direct and indirect investments.

About Thomas Cook AG

Thomas Cook AG is Europe's second biggest tour operator with 23,300 employees, 33 operator brands, a fleet of 76 aircraft and 2400 travel agencies. In the 2004/05 financial year the company achieved a turnover of 7.7 billion euros. Shares are held equally by KarstadtQuelle AG and Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

For further information on DIG please contact:
Natasha Sterling
The Public Relations Subsidiary of Dubai Press Club
Dubai Media City
Tel: +971 4 3613333
Mob: +971 50 252 8014
Fax: + 971 4 3888001
E-mail: natasha.sterling@jiwin.ae

For further information on Thomas Cook please contact:
Thomas Cook AG
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 - 61 71 - 65-1700
Fax: +49 - 61 71 - 65-1060
E-mail : press-office@thomascookag.com
Internet: www.thomascook.info