FIFA World Cup to drive Qatar economy: Qatar’s economy is projected to grow at a faster pace of 4.6% this year compared to 1.5% in 2021, driven by the FIFA World Cup, according to GlobalData. So far, the country has reportedly spent US$200 billion on infrastructure to accommodate more than one million visitors during the month-long event. The country’s economy will be boosted by rising tourist flows and investments during the World Cup and also from higher exports of fossil fuels amid the increasing demand from European countries. The number of international arrivals is expected to soar 162% over last year to 2.2 million this year. The wholesale and retail sector will see a growth rate of 7.6%, while investments to upgrade roads, railways and airports will drive the construction sector by 7.3% this year. The country is likely to receive US$360.3 million in terms of potential ticket revenue across 64 games. With the significant investments in infrastructure enabling several vacancies, the unemployment rate in Qatar will fall to 0.7% this year from 1.8% in 2021. Increasing employment opportunities will drive domestic demand and real household consumption expenditure will see a 6.3% rise this year compared to last year’s 3.7%.
Palace Hotel’s international debut: Palace Hotel Co. Ltd., the independent Japanese hospitality brand, has announced its first luxury project overseas with the Ambassador Hotel Taipei in Taipei, Taiwan. After operating for over five decades as the iconic Ambassador Hotel Taipei, the 425-key hotel has closed to undergo a complete redesign. The property will be razed and rebuilt by The Ambassador Hotel Co. Ltd and will reopen in 2028 as Ambassador Palace Hotel Taipei. The hotel will be managed by Palace Hotel. Following the six-year reconstruction, Palace Hotel Taipei will feature 106 rooms and suites, spa, lounge, event spaces and six dining outlets. The Japanese restaurant will also be managed by Palace Hotel. The property will also include 73 luxury residences located in an adjacent, 23-story building. The U.K.-based GA Group, led by Terry McGinnity, will design the hotel’s interiors, while Mitsubishi Jisho Design Inc. will lead the architectural design. When it opened in 1964, the hotel was the first privately-owned luxury hotel in Taiwan.
Henderson Park acquires majority stake in GBI: Henderson Park, the London-based private real investment fund manager, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in GBI, the German residential platform, on behalf of one of its funds. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and is subject to standard market conditions. Henderson Park said its capital infusion will help GBI to speed up its growth strategy and focus on sustainable and ESG-compliant real estate ventures in subsidized and private market residential, serviced apartments, student housing and senior living concepts under its SMARTments brand. GBI’s management team has developed a portfolio worth €1.5 billion (US$1.56 billion) across Germany in the past six years.