Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group planning major investment in Hungary, other central European countries

InterContinental Budapest, above, overlooks the Danube river and landmarks such as Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the former Royal Palace and the Parliament Building. (Courtesy InterContinental Budapest)
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Updated 18 June 2020

Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group planning major investment in Hungary, other central European countries

DUBAI: Al-Habtoor Group is planning a major investment move in Hungary and several other central European countries, a source close to the Dubai conglomerate has told Arab News.

The source, which has access to the group’s decision makers, speaking exclusively to Arab News said the company is currently assessing opportunities in the hospitality, leisure and even medical facilities in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

EU-member Hungary has been touted as one of European countries with the best potential for foreign direct investments because of its pro-business, low-tax economic regime.

But the scouting will include other central European countries as well as the group assesses opportunities that have become available because of the recent coronavirus crisis, the source said.

The investment strategy should also strengthen the already existing portfolio of the Dubai hospitality group, founded by hotel mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor, in the central European countries, the source added.




Khalaf Al-Habtoor, the founding chairman of Al-Habtoor Group, owns seven hotels in Dubai as well as car dealerships, residential properties and schools. (AFP)

The Dubai group has a growing list of hotel properties in Budapest including the iconic InterContinental Budapest, which offers a view of the Danube river and landmarks such as Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the former Royal Palace and the Parliament Building, as well as the historic Ritz-Carlton Budapest that it purchased in 2012 under the Le Méridien brand.

Among other European hotels under Al-Habtoor’s portfolio includes Hotel Imperial in Vienna, which it acquired from New York-listed Starwood Hotels and Resorts for $78.8 million, as well as the Hilton London Wembley. The company bought both properties in 2016.




The 138-room Hotel Imperial in Vienna was originally built in 1863 as official residence of Prince Philipp of Württemberg. (AFP)

Hotel Imperial Vienna was originally built in 1863 as an official residence of Prince Philipp of Württemberg, before it transitioned into a hotel ahead of the World’s Fair in 1873. Hilton London Wembley overlooks the English national football stadium in Wembley Park.


Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

Updated 23 September 2020

Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

  • Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels
  • Trudeau is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil on Wednesday what he says is a far-reaching plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring efforts to fight the outbreak do not falter.
Trudeau, who has consistently vowed to do more to combat climate change, is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels as Canada faces a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“The three prongs of what we are doing are fighting COVID-19, supporting Canadians, and a resilient recovery,” said a government source who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.
The so-called Speech from the Throne outlining government plans is a confidence measure and given that Trudeau’s Liberals only have a minority in the House of Commons, they will need the support of opposition legislators to avoid being toppled and plunging the country into an election.
The left-leaning New Democrats have made clear they are likely to vote in favor. Trudeau’s popularity initially soared over his handling of the pandemic, but polls suggest he and the Liberals were damaged by a scandal over his close ties to a charity chosen to run a student grant program.
Parliament is usually packed for the occasion but COVID-19 means few legislators will be present when Governor General Julie Payette — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state — delivers the speech at around 3 p.m. (1900 GMT).
Later on Wednesday, Trudeau plans to make a national address to address the urgency of fighting COVID-19, a spokesman said.
Officials say the throne speech will contain policy proposals such as childcare and an expanded employment insurance program rather than specific spending commitments, some of which will be disclosed in a fiscal update later in the year.
But Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels, aides say.