Qatar's Al Faisal acquires majority stake in The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel

Al Rayyan Tourism and Investment Company (ARTIC), the international hospitality subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding Company, has acquired 97 percent of The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel in New York. The 689-room hotel, built in 1962, covers an entire block and is situated at 790 Seventh Avenue.

ARTIC’s acquisition of The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel is another significant step forward in the global expansion of its investment portfolio and its strategy of buying high-quality assets in prime locations to which it can add value, reports the Gulf Times.

On the acquisition, ARTIC chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani said, “Since the creation of ARTIC in 2003, our objective has been to have a presence in major cities around the world through high-quality investments. ARTIC’s success and sustainable growth stems from its balanced, long term investment strategy and I am delighted with this acquisition which represents an important addition, bringing our current portfolio to 24 premium hotels and resorts.

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“The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel has a superb location; at the very heart of the City and meets our uncompromising investment focus on asset quality, location and architectural design. We will continue to enhance ARTIC’s portfolio of premium hotels in line with the Company’s medium-term plans for a flotation on one of the international stock exchanges. This is our third hotel investment in the US and I am confident that there will be more to come.”

Tarek M el-Sayed, Executive Board member, said, “As the US economic recovery accelerates, the hospitality sector is seeing the highest occupancy rates in decades. The US is a key market for our geographic expansion and this acquisition is an important milestone in ARTIC’s development. The Hotel’s enviable location, sizeable plot and scope for further development provide the opportunity to significantly upgrade the property.

“In that respect we are planning a major renovation which will include additional retail space. Upon the completion of the renovation, the hotel will be managed by a leading international hotel company.  We entered the US market in 2012 and now have a presence in three key cities — Chicago, Miami and New York. We look forward to further enhancing our US presence with a particular  focus on the West Coast as the economy continues to recover and more opportunities arise.”

ARTIC CEO Rutger Smits said, “As a leading global hospitality real estate investment company with a long-term strategic investment approach, this acquisition fits perfectly with our strategy. The potential of this property is considerable and we have the know-how, successful track record and financial strength to support its development plans.

“ARTIC does not simply look to acquire trophy assets, we also look to buy assets that we can upgrade and to which we can add real value. As we expand our geographical presence, we remain committed to our core values and in particular the three elements on which we never compromise when buying or developing any property: quality, location and architectural design.”