Since its inception, the VBL Group has positioned itself as the main investor in Valletta.

As the market leader in the Valletta hospitality market, the VBL Group was in the best position to capitalise on opportunities which came along with the disruption caused by the COVID measures.

“The group’s vision has been clear from its inception; it was not by chance that we became the largest private owner of real estate in Valletta. Today not only do we own a vast property portfolio in the capital, but we are now the largest multisite hospitality provider,” says VBL Group chairman Andrei Imbroll. “Our focus on Valletta paid off.”

“The group’s business model is clear,” CEO Geza Szephalmi says. “Consolidation and economies of scale are two key elements the group is pushing.”

Apart from the pre-COVID portfolio, VBL Group has added a further three boutique hotels to its operating portfolio, which followed the acquisition of Casa Rooms, one of Malta’s leading property management companies with a significant number of apartments in Valletta.

“The beauty of it is that boutique hotel owners see our proposition’s added value added, including the benefits of partnering with a company like VBL”.

The group operates in multiple sectors, including residential, hospitality, office space and food and beverage, with upcoming investments in retail and parking space to be added in a diversified portfolio focused in Valletta.

Imbroll goes back to the Valletta focus, explaining how synergy is created within the portfolio to create a unique proposition within the capital, leading to the catchphrase “Your gateway to Valletta”.

The acquisition of a large retail space in the upper part of Valletta, touted to be the start of the rejuvenation of Valletta as a shopping destination, has been reported previously, and plans are well on the way to deliver what Stephen Clough, VBL Group’s head of development, describes as “the first, real luxury shopping experience in Malta”.

“Regenerating Valletta’s shopping experience is vital in order to take the city to the next level. A capital city without a luxury shopping destination is unheard of – imagine London without Oxford Street, or Paris without Champs Élysées. Valletta needs to revitalise what it once had. Luxury shopping is an industry and we need to get all the elements right. The product, the visual experience Valletta offers, the cafes, the accommodation and the infrastructure.”

Acquisition of retail space plays high on the agenda of the VBL Group and cross-fertilisation bet­ween their own products within Valletta is dominant in their planning for growth.

Retail, hospitality, culture and the arts, food and beverage all play a major part in the workings of Valletta as a living city, and VBL Group says it is today firmly working on closing what once was a fragmented marketplace by consolidating element by element using economies of scale to ensure profitability across the board.

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