Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal is holding negotiations to buy the Carlton seafront hotel in Beirut for $90 million, the hotel's current owner told AFP on Tuesday. "The deal has not been finalized yet and negotiations are ongoing," Joseph Mudawar said.
The deal involves a 10,000-square-meter (107,600 square foot) piece of land in the Raouche coastal neighborhood, with a 130-room hotel built in 1976 a year after the 15-year civil war started. It also includes the skeleton of an annex building of 23 floors, with a capacity for 235 rooms, which had not been finished due to the war.
The Saudi tycoon, 43, also owns the nearby seafront Movenpick luxurious hotel, which is due to open next year, in addition to numerous investments in Lebanon in the tourism, banking and media sectors.
Al-Walid has also granted millions of dollars to help rebuild damage inflicted by repeated Israeli military attacks against Lebanon.
Prince Walid, a nephew of Saudi King Fahd and the grandson of late Lebanese Prime Minister Riad Solh, has a fortune estimated at $17 billion. He is ranked as the world's eighth wealthiest entrepreneur by Forbes magazine. — (AFP, Beirut)
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