Miley Cyrus, Dubai Royalty Abandon Fontainebleau; Soffer Family Moves Back In

So it hurt when Miley Cyrus ducked out of a planned party at Miami Beach's Fontainebleau to hang out with Ryan Seacrest on New Year's Eve. But now a company run by the emir of Dubai has sold a stake in the hotel that it bought for $375 million in 2008.

Jeffrey Soffer, daytime gossip mag regular and husband to onetime Sports Illustrated model Elle McPherson, takes control of the hotel that is perhaps Miami's best-known icon -- and was once home to Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack.

The South Florida Business Journal broke the news Monday. Details of the purchase weren't clear, but it could be an important step for South Florida real estate, which has increasingly moved into hands of foreign investors.

Dubai will be able to collect if gambling is approved on the Beach -- an unlikely scenario, at least in the short term.

Fontainebleau owners sold part of the hotel to the Dubai state-owned company Nakheel Leisure after a huge upgrade if its 1,504 rooms.

Turnberry, the firm that also owns Aventura Mall, is the Soffer family's real estate arm. It had a disastrous run while attempting to develop a Las Vegas Fontainebleau and recently had to withdraw a plan to build on a plot in far West Miami-Dade that had vast environmental implications.

Jeffrey Soffer, by all accounts a brilliant businessman, married supermodel McPherson in August. He survived a helicopter crash and was recently hit with a large lawsuit over the accident.

Neither Soffer nor the Dubai company had immediate statements on the deal.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse