Qatar buys Raffles hotels in Paris and Singapore

Qatar National Hotels (QNH) said on Monday it has taken over the ownership of two iconic Raffles properties in Singapore and Paris. "Adding these iconic properties to our portfolio represents consistent steps of QNH’s strategic expansion at the international level," said Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla, CEO of QNH.

"Through years of rich history, Raffles Hotel Singapore and Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris have become legendary legacies that enhance the hospitality values by building a bridge between tradition and a glorious future," he added. He did not provide a value for the deal to acquire the two luxury hotels, however real estate sources indicate a value of 350 million euros for both propertis

Raffles Singapore, over a century old, was the first hotel to operate under the Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand. Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris is the European flagship of Raffles Hotels & Resorts. After two years of renovation, the hotel reopened in October 2010.

The deal marks the latest in a series of investments in overseas assets by Qatari buyers, many of them in Europe: W Hotel London, iconic London department store Harrods, One Hyde Park luxury residences (managed by Mandarin Oriental), Shard London Bridge (mixed use – tallest building in Europe)  Peninsula Hotel in Paris (due to open 2013) and stakes in Barclays, retailer J Sainsbury’s and the London Stock Exchange among its investments. Qatari Diar, Qatar Investment Authority’s property arm, in August announced it had won a bid to buy London’s Olympic Village in a £557m in a joint deal with the UK developer Delancey.

Qatari Diar already owns a majority stake in Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, the holding hotel management company which includes the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands.