An Abu Dhabi-based hospitality investment group with global assets of $650m has acquired ‘The Caley’ – Edinburgh’s historic hotel located on the west end of Princes Street.
Twenty14 Holdings, the investment arm of Lulu Group International, will take over the iconic railway hotel – Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, The Caledonian – adding 50 guest rooms to the building. The precise location of the rooms is to be revealed but it has been confirmed they will be ‘part of an expansion of the current structure’.
The company was founded in 2014 by 37-year-old Indian entrepreneur Adeeb Ahamed to capitalise on the growth in the global hospitality industry, and has already acquired a number of prestigious properties.
They include a five-star hotel in UAE at Business Bay in Dubai, managed by Steigenberger Hotel Group, a leading German-based hospitality, and the Sheraton Oman Hotel in Muscat.
The firm has also made a £110 million agreement with property developer Galliard Homes to create a luxurious five-star hotel at 1-5 Great Scotland Yard, the former headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police Services in London, UK. The custom-built 92,000 sq ft hotel, to be called the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, is set to open in 2018.
The firm says it is working to create a legacy as ‘the world’s leading hospitality investment firm, crafting the most unique, genuine and quality hospitality experiences around the globe’.
Mr Ahamed, the company’s Managing Director, said: “We are excited to add The Caledonian to the portfolio of Twenty14 Holdings. With more than hundred years of history, The Caledonian brings with it a rich heritage, character and unique opulence.
“We are honoured to be part of this Scottish landmark that has a great connect with the locals and visitors alike. We look forward to adding to the experience The Caledonian already offers.”
Twenty14 Holdings says it ‘will expand the character and modern elegance of Scotland’s most distinguished hotel, adding a further 50 guest rooms and creating new jobs in Scotland’.
The Caledonian dates back to 1903, and is built directly above what was Princes Street Station; it is situated at the west end of Princes Street, and has played host to film stars, entertainers and royalty.
Today the hotel is the only part of the old station to have survived along with the cast iron entrance gates on Rutland Street; last year it was used by Barack Obama as a stop on his way to an event at the EICC.
The company says it is committed to preserving the history, glory and grandeur of the hotel, as well as adding value to the community.
Twenty14 Holdings will work with local artisans to enhance the hotel’s Historical Caledonian Suites, expand the F&B offering and extend the reach of the hotel to include an ‘additional 50 keys, over a period of two years beginning from 2019.’
Operated under Hilton’s flagship brand Waldorf Astoria, each room and suite will bring ‘luxury, style and sophistication to the forefront, with bespoke furniture, eclectic artwork and pristine en-suite bathrooms featuring marble and burnished chrome fittings’, said the company.
Lulu Group International has an annual turnover of US$ 6.2 Billion, and a worldwide staff of 40,000 across its divisions including; Imports & Exports, Food Processing and Packaging,Mall Management, Shipping, Food and Beverage, Financial Services IT, Hospitality and Travel & Tourism. The group is a major player in the Middle East with operations spread across UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt – and also in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Kenya, Tanzania, Benin, Spain, Brazil, Turkey and the UK.