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Friday, September 23, 2011

Harrods hotel in Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR: World famous department store Harrods is opening a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the city mayor said.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said that a consortium of three developers are proposing to build the Harrods hotel.

Ahmad Fuad, however, said that a submission for the Harrods project is yet to be made.

In October last year, it was reported that a "Harrods Hotel" was being considered for the rooftop of the store in Knightsbridge.

According to Ahmad Fuad, this hotel will be located at Jalan Conlay, near the Restaurant Seri Melayu.

The restaurant, belonging to Amcorp Group Bhd, is actually leased from Lembaga Kraftangan Malaysia.

Amcorp has in fact requested for a first right of refusal should the government decide to develop the land. However, it is understood that it is yet to receive such a reply.

The Lembaga Kraftangan comes under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture, and acts as the custodian for the Federal Lands Commissioner.

While it is unclear whether the development of the new hotel will be on this very land, it is understood that the government had put out a tender for the sale of the said land.

Interestingly, Tradewinds Corp Bhd, which holds the franchise for Harrods retail stores, had in its 2008 Annual Report said:

"The acquisition will allow the group to capitalise on Harrods' internationally-renowned reputation for luxury and exclusivity, raise our corporate profile, and be a stepping stone for the group to explore possible business collaboration and opportunities with Harrods Limited for its future residential, commercial and hotel projects, especially in Kuala Lumpur."

Tradewinds' participation in this project is unclear following the sale of the Harrods department store by Mohammed Al Fayed to the Qatari Royal family's investment firm Qatar Holdings, which is the investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

It is not known whether QIA will participate in the Harrods project in Malaysia, should this project materialise.

QIA in Malaysia has interests in the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

This mall is owned by Urusharta Cemerlang Sdn Bhd, which is 51 per cent-owned by Urus-harta Cemerlang Development Sdn Bhd and 49 per cent by QIA.

By Business Times

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