Sheik invests in region

Multimillionaire SAUDI Sheik and owner of Pinheiros Altos resort in Quinta do Lago, Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, has bought the Algarve’s two Meridien hotels, Dona Filipa, in Vale do Lobo, and Penina, in Alvor.

The acquisition of the hotels was said to have cost 185 million euros and was purchased by JJW Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of MBI International and Partners, which is headed by the sheik.

It was only three years ago that Starman, a joint venture by North American investment bank Lehman Brothers and Starwood Capital Group, took over the two hotels.

Many will remember the sheik from one of the largest parties ever thrown in the Algarve at a cost of five million euros in 2001, in Quinta do Lago.

At the time, he had expressed interest in purchasing the hotels as well as the Herdade da Lameira estate in Silves, which was eventually sold to the Oceânico Group.

The Penina was the first hotel ever constructed in the Algarve 40 years ago and boasts 196 rooms as well as three golf courses designed by Sir Henry Cotton, while the Dona Filipa has 154 rooms and has the San Lorenzo 18-hole golf course.

The sheik said that MBI International and Partners will make its mark as leaders of luxury tourism in Portugal, as it has proved with a strong portfolio of 55 luxury hotels in London, Paris, Vienna and the Middle East.

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