Prince Alwaleed of Saudia Arabia receives Edinburgh degree

Published March 18th, 2010 - 09:47 GMT

HRH Prince Alwaleed of Saudia Arabia has been awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Edinburgh at a ceremony in the city today (Wednesday, 17 March).

Prince Alwaleed, an internationally renowned businessman who is chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, was awarded the degree at the Signet Library, Parliament Square. The degree was conferred by HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, who is Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.

During his visit to Edinburgh, Prince Alwaleed opened a new research centre for the study of Islamic civilisation and issues relating to Islam in Britain, which is based at the University.

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World has been set up with funding from the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation to foster deeper understanding between the Muslim world and the West.

A second centre in the UK is based at the University of Cambridge. The Foundation has also established centres in the U S – at Georgetown and Harvard – and in the Middle East, at the American University in Beirut and the American University in Cairo.

Described by Forbes magazine as “one of the smartest and most creative investors in the world”, Prince Alwaleed founded the Kingdom Holding Company in 1979. The Company is one of the world’s premier investment houses with a portfolio that includes holdings in international brands such as Four Seasons Inc, Four Seasons George V, Fairmont New York Plaza, Citigroup, News Corp, The Savoy, Canary Wharf, Euro Disney and Apple.

Prince Alwaleed also heads the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, a charitable and philanthropic organisation with a mission to help alleviate suffering around the world and transcend international borders.

The Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, said: “The University of Edinburgh is honoured to be entrusted with the task of creating this centre, which will foster deeper understanding between the Muslim world and the West through the twin paths of effective outreach and high-quality research.

“Building on our 250 year history of scholarship in this area, we plan to use this opportunity to create an educational legacy that has continued impact across the United Kingdom and beyond, and that reaches far into the future.”

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