By JAMES WILKINSON
London’s famous Harrods department store is set to open Harrods-branded hotels around the world in key cities as the Qatari-owned group further diversifies its operations.
While London, Paris and Beijing are in the company’s sights, the chain’s first property will be in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, following the signing yesterday (Jul 4) of a Memorandum of Undertsanding between Harrods Group owners Qatar Holding LLC and Jerantas Sdn Bhd.
“The target plan is to open Harrods hotels at sites in key cities such as Kuala Lumpur, New York and Paris, as well as in China,” Qatar Holding said in a statement. “Preference will be given to construct on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, for example at Chelsea Barracks in London or Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.
“In the meantime, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today in Malaysia between Qatar Holding LLC, represented by its Vice Chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, and Jerantas Sdn Bhd, represented by Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Aziz Ismail.
“The MOU, to study the potential development of a Harrods Hotel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur was signed during an event at the Property Gallery of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
“Qatar Holding LLC, which owns the world-class luxury brand Harrods, and property developer Jerantas Sdn Bhd will jointly invest RM2 billion to build a Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Qatar Holding ultimately intends to grow Harrods into a global enterprise that defines the luxury retail and leisure sectors,” the company said.
Qatar Holding’s vice-chairman, Dr. Hussain Ali AI-Abdulla, said further investment in Malaysia was also on the agenda.
“Qatar Holding will invest more, especially in Malaysia’s natural resources, due to tile country’s political stability and economic growth expected to average 5%,” he said.