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|| Dubai's Al Habtoor to acquire hotel in Budapest for $80 million

habtoor-dubai.jpgDubai conglomerate Al Habtoor Group is in the final stages of acquiring a five-star hotel in Budapest for $80 million - Arabian Business is reporting.

As DubaiBeat.com reported earlier, the groups was looking to buy hotels in Europe. It is also in talks with officials in France to buy a second hotel in Paris, its chairman says.

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More details follows from Arabian Business

Khalaf Al Habtoor, who runs one of the country’s biggest family businesses with a portfolio spanning hospitality, construction and automotive operations, said the firm has been actively looking to acquire hospitality assets in Europe for some time.

"We are in the finishing [stages] of taking over a hotel property in Budapest, Hungry. Hopefully, I think by the end of March all will be finalised. It’s a five-star hotel in the best place in Budapest… it’s around €60m,” he said, declining to give the name of the property.

The group has also been contacted by French officials regarding the sale of a hotel in Paris, he added. “I have been contacted and told there is a hotel sale but I don’t have the details yet. It’s in Paris, possibly a four-star hotel,” he said.

The conglomerate last month unveiled plans to demolish one of Dubai’s oldest hotels and redevelop the area into a tourism complex in a plan valued at $1.3bn.

The firm said it would knock down the 34 year-old Metropolitan Hotel and build three luxury hotels and a string of tourist attractions, including a theatre to stage Broadway-style shows.

“The economical situation is flourishing now in the UAE and there is major improvement in the market, especially demand for visitors to the country,” Al Habtoor said. “[The announcement] shows that, parallel to the government of the UAE, we are working hard to represent the country… to prove that this country is a safe haven.”

The announcement came several months after the group said it would resume work on a AED1bn hotel project on the Palm Jumeirah. The five-star hotel, which is expected to open to guests by 2013, will include a spa, private beach, six restaurants and a nightclub, said the group.

The Al Habtoor Group is a holding company for businesses ranging from construction, hospitality, automotive and real estate, run by Al Habtoor. In 2007, Habtoor sold a 45 percent stake to Australia’s Leighton Holding for $707m.

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