Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Walid Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz announced Tuesday, June 12, he has invested one million dollars in the Arabian Hotel Co. (AHC), based in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Prince Walid's investment "was pursuant to a request from the Palestinian National Authority for his support of infrastructure and the Palestinian economy," his Kingdom Holding group said.
"Our investment in Palestine represents a form of support for Palestinian rights and a form of participation in the development of the Palestinian economy ... notably in the tourism sector which is regarded as a principal component of the Palestinian economy," Prince Walid said.
"It also represents a commitment on our part to support our Palestinian brethren in the face of all the difficulties that they currently face," he said.
AHC is currently constructing a $20-million hotel in Ramallah, which is expected to open in 2002. Swiss group Movenpick Hotels AG, in which Prince Walid has a 27 percent share, will operate the hotel, its third such venture in the Palestinian territories.
"The hotel will provide new employment opportunities for approximately 250 Palestinian hospitality workers," Kingdom Holding estimated.
Prince Walid, 43, a nephew of King Fahd, has invested more than $375 million in the Palestinian economy, Kingdom Holding said. The prince, who has amassed a personal fortune of $20.3 billion and is ranked as the world's fifth wealthiest entrepreneur by the US magazine Forbes, built his global financial empire by investing in major companies experiencing hard times. ― (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)