Five-star resorts are usually associated with impeccable service and sought-after locales. While the first is true for the Serena Hotels, the latter leaves much to be desired. This hotel chain has a niche in failed states, from Uganda to Rwanda to Pakistan. Who is the man behind this unusual business strategy? The 75-year-old Aga Khan. With personal wealth estimated at $2.7 billion, he is also the spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims, who follow a Shiite branch of Islam and believe Khan to be a direct descendent of the prophet Mohammed. Khan first opened the hotel chain in the 1970s in Africa and began rapidly expanding into areas with large Ismaili communities -- including some of the world's most dangerous cities.
Above, armed Afghan police surround the five-star Serena hotel in central Kabul on Oct. 28, 2009, following a rocket attack.
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