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Qatar plans Harrods Hotels in Malaysia, New York, Paris
Source: BI-ME with Bloomberg , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Tue July 3, 2012 3:09 pm

QATAR. Qatar Holding LLC said it plans to open Harrods-branded hotels in cities around the world including New York and Paris, two years after buying the British luxury retailer from the family trust of Mohamed Al-Fayed.

The Doha-based company, an arm of Gulf Arab state’s sovereign wealth fund, signed an agreement with Malaysian partners today for a proposed hotel in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang shopping district. A hotel management company will be established to seek out similar projects around the world, according to a joint statement by Harrods Ltd. and Qatar Holding.

“We have already decided to build a Harrods Hotel in London, one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Sardinia, Italy,” Qatar Holding Vice Chairman Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla told reporters in the Malaysian capital today. “We are looking to invest more in Malaysia because we think the economy is growing.”

Qatar Holding paid 1.5 billion pounds (US$2.3 billion) for Harrods in 2010, including its landmark store in London’s Knightsbridge district, which opened in 1849 and counted Sigmund Freud and Oscar Wilde among its customers. The hotel initiative is part of a strategy to develop the brand beyond retailing

The Kuala Lumpur hotel would be the group’s first in Asia. It also wants to open in China, Al-Abdullah said.

Construction will start in a year on a 5.5-acre (2.2 hectare) site in the Malaysian capital, he said. About 2 billion ringgit (US$634 million) will be spent on the development, which will comprise as many as 300 hotel rooms, apartments and retail space, said Al-Abdullah.

Its preference is to build on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, such as London’s Chelsea Barracks site or Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, according to the statement.

“Qatar Holding ultimately intends to grow Harrods into a global enterprise that defines the luxury retailer and leisure sectors,” it said.

Qatar Holding is part of the Qatar Investment Authority, which is the largest shareholder in the J Sainsbury Plc (SBRY) grocery chain in the U.K., and invested US$2.8 billion in Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.’s initial public offering last year.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

date:Posted: February 11, 2016
INTERNATIONAL. "Although we anticipate some strain on Gulf banks' funding and liquidity this year, good asset quality and strong capitalization remain positive factors."
date:Posted: February 10, 2016
UAE. Low oil prices will constrain the amount of funding available to Gulf sovereigns and banks to support the region's substantial infrastructure bill in coming years; S&P projects a gap as large as $270 billion through 2019 between capital spending for projects and project contracts awarded.
date:Posted: February 10, 2016
UAE. Across the Middle East, educational institutions and providers face a myriad of challenges and opportunities; "Educational organizations are increasingly being asked to demonstrate their wider impact and contribution to goals around employability, social mobility and inclusion."
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