Al Habtoor Group to acquire $800m Budapest hotel

Group hones in on Hungarian hotel deal; Parisian hotel also on cards

Khalaf Al Habtoor said the firm has been actively looking to acquire hospitality assets in Europe for some time.
Khalaf Al Habtoor said the firm has been actively looking to acquire hospitality assets in Europe for some time.

Dubai conglomerate Al Habtoor Group is in the final stages of acquiring a €600m ($804m), five-star hotel in Budapest and is in talks with officials in France to buy a second hotel in Paris, its chairman has told CW’s sister title Arabian Business.

Khalaf Al Habtoor, who runs one of the country’s biggest family businesses with a portfolio spanning hospitality, construction and automotive operations, said the firm has been actively looking to acquire hospitality assets in Europe for some time.

"We are in the finishing [stages] of taking over a hotel property in Budapest, Hungry. Hopefully, I think by the end of March all will be finalised. It’s a five-star hotel in the best place in Budapest… it’s around €600m,” he said, declining to give the name of the property.

The group has also been contacted by French officials regarding the sale of a hotel in Paris, he added. “I have been contacted and told there is a hotel sale but I don’t have the details yet. It’s in Paris, possibly a four-star hotel,” he said.

The conglomerate last month unveiled plans to demolish one of Dubai’s oldest hotels and redevelop the area into a tourism complex in a plan valued at $1.3bn.

The firm said it would knock down the 34 year-old Metropolitan Hotel and build three luxury hotels and a string of tourist attractions, including a theatre to stage Broadway-style shows.

“The economical situation is flourishing now in the UAE and there is major improvement in the market, especially demand for visitors to the country,” Al Habtoor said. “[The announcement] shows that, parallel to the government of the UAE, we are working hard to represent the country… to prove that this country is a safe haven.”

The announcement came several months after the group said it would resume work on a AED1bn hotel project on the Palm Jumeirah. The five-star hotel, which is expected to open to guests by 2013, will include a spa, private beach, six restaurants and a nightclub, said the group.

The Al Habtoor Group is a holding company for businesses ranging from construction, hospitality, automotive and real estate, run by Al Habtoor. In 2007, Habtoor sold a 45 percent stake to Australia’s Leighton Holding for $707m.
 

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