Indian tycoon Yusuffali MA has sealed a 110 million pounds (US$171 million) deal to develop a luxury hotel on the site of the original Scotland Yard Police Station in London, as foreign buyers bet on the resilience of Britain’s prime property market. Ali, one of India’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and head of Abu Dhabi-based retail and hospitality conglomerate Lulu Group International, has signed up Galliard Homes to complete the project at the former home of the Metropolitan Police Force in London’s Whitehall.
Yusuffali MA said in an emailed statement, “London undoubtedly is one of the most happening locations in the world especially from the tourism point of view and we have been actively evaluating investment opportunities that both grow our footprint and contribute to the further development of London.”
Twenty14 Holdings is the newly launched hospitality arm of LuLu, focusing on acquisition and management of assets around the globe. The entity has more than one billion dirhams (US$272 million) of assets in the Middle East, UK and India.
The Kerala-born businessman is the latest in a slew of foreign buyers who have shaken off mounting fears of a ‘Brexit’ from the European Union and possible economic contagion from the stricken euro zone, to invest in prime UK real estate. The asset class, particularly London trophy property, is widely seen as recession-proof, thanks to consistently rising values and robust rents that appear to defy domestic and global economic shocks.