Forbes today published its annual list of World’s Top Heritage Hotels With Owners From The Middle East, unveiling the best hotels of historical importance owned by people from the region.
For several years now, business owners from the Middle East have been investing in hospitality assets especially in Europe, with London and Paris being the favorite destinations. These business owners are doing their part in preserving the culture and history of these properties, whose value lies not in their monetary worth, but in the stories behind them.
Egyptian businessman Mohammed Al Fayed, who owns the Ritz Paris – one of the world’s most iconic heritage hotels, tops the list, followed by Saudi Arabian Prince Al Waleed bin Talal of Kingdom Holdings who owns The Savoy in London. Both these 19th century properties had undergone extensive restoration works under their respective owners before re-opening to the public.
Prominent Emirati institutions and businessmen also feature on the list, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority which owns The Lanesborough in London and Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor of Al Habtoor Group who owns Hotel Imperia in Vienna, Austria.
The list also features a sole Indian, in the 4th position – prominent Abu Dhabi based Indian businessman Adeeb Ahamed of Twenty14 Holdings, who owns the prestigious Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London. The 152-room luxury heritage hotel owned by Mr. Ahamed opened fully to the public for the first time in nearly 200 years last year, following an investment of nearly $150 million towards its restoration and full-scale renovation works.
Forbes conducted this year’s ranking based on a number of criteria, including number of rooms, price per room, date of establishment, government classification, history and famous regular guests.