Qatar Luxury Group to launch first boutique

July 26, 2013 - 2:16:53 am

DOHA: Qatar Luxury Group will launch the first boutique for its luxury brand Qela in Doha in late September, selling leather goods, shoes, jewellery and made-to-measure clothing designed with Qatari heritage in mind.

It will be followed by a unit in Paris in coming months, a company statement said. An opening in New York is also being considered, a spokeswoman said.

Qatar Luxury Group, owned by the Qatar Foundation and headed by former LVMH executive Gregory Couillard, made its first acquisition by buying an 85.7 percent stake in the Paris-listed leather goods company Le Tanneur et Cie last year.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has been one of the world’s most active investors with assets ranging from stakes in German sports car maker Porsche to shares in British bank Barclays. 

It bought the London department store Harrods in 2010 from Egyptian-born businessman Mohamed Al Fayed in a deal reported to be worth around £1.5bn.

In July last year the fund announced plans to take the Harrods brand global to cities such as Paris and New York. 

It also bought a 1.03 percent stake in luxury conglomerate LVMH.

The Qatari royal family bought Italian fashion house Valentino last year in a deal reportedly worth ¤700m ($857.5m). reuters


Starwood Hotels enjoys American boom, raises outlook  

New York: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc , operator of Sheraton hotels, posted a 12 percent jump in quarterly earnings and raised its 2013 earnings forecast as a rebound in business travel fills its rooms.

Starwood, which also owns the Westin, W and Le Meridien brands, said occupancy at its hotels in North America in the second quarter reached 76 percent, the highest ever.

The second-quarter profit topped analysts’ forecasts and it also raised its outlook to above the Wall Street consensus, pushing shares up 2.5 percent in early trading.

“Rising wealth, global business demand and interest in new destinations are set to fuel the growth in luxury travel for some time to come,” Chief Executive Frits van Paasschen said in a statement.

Revenue per available room (revPAR) — a key metric for the hotel industry — for hotels in North America open for at least a year rose 5.2 percent in the quarter ended June, Starwood said.

US hotel occupancy has benefited in recent months from a rebound in business travel, which has in turn boosted the rates hotels can charge for rooms.

“Occupancy has returned to peak levels and that allows additional pricing power,” said Evercore Partners analyst Smedes Rose, who has an “overweight” rating on the stock. Starwood has been expanding in Asia and Middle East where demand is also growing, which is keeping the CEO on the road.Reuters