Qatar: QIA signs initial agreement for London-based Grosvenor House hotel acquisition

The investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign fund, Qatar Invest Authority (QIA) has reportedly agreed to buy London’s iconic Grosvenor House hotel as part of the Gulf country’s economy diversification plan amid its ongoing isolation in the region by neighbors.

US real estate investment firm Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp accepted Tuesday to sell the hotel located on Park Lane in London’s swanky Mayfair district to Katara Hospitality holding, QIA’s hospitality branch, according to an anonymous source familiar with the deal.

Grosvenor House Hotel was built in the 1920s and is renowned for the largest ballroom in Europe, the Great Room, which hosts prize awarding ceremonies and charity balls.

With the new acquisition, the Gulf country will have invested over 30 billion pounds in the UK and according to Reuters, the world’s largest liquefied gas exporter expects to inject further 5 billion pounds in the next few years.

Aside from the UK, Qatar has bought a large number of assets and properties around the world. This year, it acquired the Plaza Hotel in New York for around $600 million.

It is also in talks to buy another hotel in Europe in the near future, the source said.

QIA has also injected investment in companies around the world including Germany where it is shareholder in carmarker Volkswagen.

Monday, the Emirate’s ruler Sheikh Tamim said his country’s economy grew by 18 per cent in 2017 despite a more than one-year old sea/air/land blockade imposed by regional neighbors, namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in addition to Egypt.

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