Leadership and Management

Muslim Billionaire’s Vision: From Office Space to an Affordable Hotel

Muslim investor Asif Aziz, 56, who is also a billionaire, has acquired Haymarket House in London’s Soho. He plans to turn part of the site into a £400 million hotel. The location that will be converted will be the upper floors of office space. According to City A.M., he intends to capitalize on the capital’s increasing demand for travel space.

He told the City A.M. that the office market is polarized and that people want buildings with the best in class. Most vacant buildings in central London and the city can never be the best in class. Hence, an alternative use needs to be found, and the proposed one is a hotel. This is due to the building’s location, which is within the area of the highest tourist footfall in Europe. It makes it the best combination since the area is not particularly suited to an office.

The Haymarket House is currently home to the ‘Happy’ restaurant and a comedy club on the ground floor of the building. Both the restaurant and the comedy club will still remain in operation as part of the deal.

Asif Aziz, the Muslim billionaire (Image: Asif Aziz on X platform)

According to Boutique Hotelier, he paid around £135 million for the Haymarket House. The payment is made through his investment business, Criterion Capital. The building was sold through a joint venture between CPPIB and Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited, with Savills serving as advisors.

Criterion Capital is believed to be exploring other investment opportunities.

Just months ago, in July, he made a headline. His plan was to convert Trocadero in the centre of the capital of England into a three-story mosque for 390 worshippers, which Westminster Council approved. Aziz supports the mosque through his charity, the Aziz Foundation. His act serves as an example, which the Muslim community celebrated.

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