ICD to develop Islamic finance in Uzbekistan

The agreement was signed during ICD’s official visit to Uzbekistan.
Updated 17 June 2019

ICD to develop Islamic finance in Uzbekistan

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signed an agreement to assist Kapitalbank, a private commercial bank in Uzbekistan, with technical advisory services for the establishment of a new Islamic banking window.
The agreement was signed during ICD’s official visit to Uzbekistan as part of its mandate to explore development opportunities in the member countries and strengthen ICD’s advisory footprint in central Asia, especially in Uzbekistan.
ICD will assist Kapitalbank in areas of Shariah, accounting, information technology, marketing and communication, HR and legal aspects combined with an on-site extensive theoretical training and supported by on-job training in Islamic banks.
Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, said: “We are happy to sign the agreement to support Kapitalbank and share our expertise through the Islamic Financial Institution Program, developed for and with our partners to advise and assist in developing and reinforcing the Islamic finance industry in the member countries.”
Oleg Kim, acting chairman of the management board, representing Kapitalbank, said: “We believe that the launching of the Islamic window in the bank will allow mobilizing funds of the population who, because of their religious beliefs, did not use traditional banking services. In addition, legal entities will receive access to Shariah-compliant funding. So through Islamic banking, financial inclusion can be promoted and bring a larger pool of savings in the local and global economy.”


LuLu opens iconic Scotland Yard Hotel in London

Updated 10 December 2019

LuLu opens iconic Scotland Yard Hotel in London

Twenty14 Holdings, the hospitality investment arm of UAE’s LuLu Group International, has completed investments of 1.43 billion dirhams ($389.4 million) in the UK, with the inauguration of the Great Scotland Yard in London. The hotel opened for business on Dec. 9.

The Great Scotland Yard was officially inaugurated by Nicky Morgan, secretary of state; Sir Edward Lister, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief strategic adviser; Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE ambassador to Britain; Mark Hoplamazian, global president and CEO, Hyatt Hotels; in the presence of Yusuffali M. A., chairman of Lulu Group; and Adeeb Ahmed, managing director of Twenty14 Holdings in London.

The historic property was acquired in 2015 for 550 million dirhams ($150 million), and the makeover of the hotel involved a further 250 million dirhams. In addition to the Great Scotland Yard, Twenty14 Holdings had acquired the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh — The Caledonian in Scotland in 2018 for 440 million dirhams. 

The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which is being managed by Hyatt under their The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, is located in the St. James’s district of Westminster. 

Steeped in history, the Great Scotland Yard was once a dwelling for visiting kings of Scotland during the Tudor period, while today the building is most famous as the former headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police force. In 1910, the building served as the British Army Recruitment Office and Royal Military Police headquarters.

LuLu chairman Ali said: “London is one of the world’s greatest cities and the Great Scotland Yard Hotel represents its illustrious past as well as its modern significance. The hotel spotlights the city’s vibrant history, its several celebrated aspects and its status as a global melting pot. In essence, we have curated an unmatched experience for every guest while recreating the historic premises into a symbol of ultimate hospitality.”

An 1820s Grade II listed building with Edwardian and Victorian architecture, the high-end luxury boutique hotel with seven floors and spanning 93,000 square feet, has 153 rooms and 15 suites apart from a two-bedroom townhouse VIP-suite created from part of the original Scotland Yard Police premises. The hotel also features a library, gymnasium, meeting/conference rooms, a 120-seater conference space/ballroom and VIP function rooms. 

Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, Twenty14 Holdings, said “The Great Scotland Yard Hotel is a dream come true for us, the culmination of a path set long ago, transforming one of the world’s most historic addresses into an icon of modern hospitality. Twenty14 Holdings’ focus remained steady right through, keeping the building’s reputation in mind, every effort made in its rebirth had to be extraordinary, beyond expectations. And, this is what has been accomplished. The Great Scotland Yard Hotel invites you to experience its myriad stories.”

The hotel offers multiple F&B options — The Yard, The Forty Elephants, The Parlour and Sibín — serving international and British modern food under the supervision of acclaimed chef and restaurateur Robin Gill.