The company is expected to build a luxury wellness resort in Kigali City and Karongi District at the shores of Lake Kivu.
Şahenk has visited Rwanda four times. In March 2022, he was received by President Paul Kagame and discussed investment opportunities in various sectors including hospitality and real estate.
Speaking to the media after holding talks with Premier Ngirente on Tuesday 14th September 2022, Şahenk disclosed that Rwanda attracted him as a favourable investment destination.
He was accompanied by Hüsnü Akhan, the Vice Chairman of Dogus Group; Gur Cagdas, Board Member of Dogus Group and Tolga Akkas, the CEO of Dogus Construction, a subsidiary of Doğuş Group focusing on the construction of roads and residential houses among others.
“First of all, we love the people of Rwanda and the visionary leadership of the President of Rwanda is amazing. We went around Rwanda, we saw the natures, and what Rwanda is offering in the world of hospitality. We were impressed,” he said.
Şahenk explained that they have so far identified three places for investment where businesses are expected to begin in the near future.
“Our first business will be the hospitality in three locations. The first will be in Kigali, the second will be around the beautiful Lake Kivu, and hopefully the third one will be the land of gorillas [at the foothills of volcanoes National Park in Kinigi]. We believe Rwanda will be an amazing destination in coming years and we want to be among the first ones present in Rwanda,” he said.
“We believe the young generation in Rwanda, girls and boys, can be amazing in hospitality. Some of the chosen young people from Rwanda will be taken to Turkey for training in hospitality and bring them back,” added Şahenk.
He also revealed that the company considers establishing a hospitality school in Rwanda.
“Definitely, with our expansion, you can have land or building but what brings value of the brand and service is people. So, we sought an opportunity from the education ministry or ministry in charge of tourism to invest in the future of tourism and hospitality through young boys and girls,” said Şahenk.
The company has a school in the United Arab Emirates which offers training on preparation of Japanese dish known as ‘Sushi’.
Şahenk affirmed that they want to bring more investment in Africa in the area of construction noting that Rwanda is the best gateway for the company’s entry to the continent.
He stressed that the company which has been running operations for over 70 years received a positive feedback from partners welcoming the idea of investing in Africa, particularly in construction sector.
Doğuş Group is a Turkish company that begun its operations in 1951 and is currently one of the largest private companies in Turkey with a portfolio of 300 companies in six sectors namely; automotive, construction, real estate, energy, hospitality, retail and media.
The company also owns Doğuş Hospitality & Retail Group, a subsidiary which operates in the fields of hotels, events management and luxury fashion among others.
It manages over 200 restaurants and nearly 20 hotels in more than 21 countries across the world. The subsidiary also owns some of renowned hospitality icons including D-Hotels & Resorts and Mytha Hotel Anthology.
The CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi said that the investor has expressed willingness to invest in Rwanda where a good progress has been made so far.
“A company with this caliber choosing to look at Rwanda as an investment destination is very important because it shows that Rwanda is attractive to those kinds of investments.
Choosing Rwanda in the whole world signifies that there is something that we are doing, that the investment environment is doing and we should keep doing that, make it easier and even better for investors to do that in Rwanda. I look forward to the first project getting to completion,” she said.
Doğuş Group currently has operations in 29 countries, with operations in different regions such as the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Gulf Countries.