By Lynne Roberts
UAE, Qatar and Kuwait in talks to buy Princes Street for $2.66bn, newspaper reports.
Sovereign wealth funds from Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait are in talks about buying up the whole of Princes Street in Edinburgh for 1.35 billion pounds ($2.66), a Scottish newspaper reported on Sunday.
The City of Edinburgh Council has approached a number of funds with a view to reducing the number of owners and funding a world-class redevelopment of the iconic shopping street, said broadsheet Scotland on Sunday.
The council’s economic development leader, Tom Buchanan, told the newspaper “There are people talking to us with access to sovereign funds. They have large amounts of wealth”.
“We’ve had people from those types of funds express an interest”, he continued.
The funds were not named in the report, however nations with the biggest war-chests include the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, the newspaper said.
According to the report, under the present ownership pattern a takeover by sovereign funds could take up to 10 years, as potential buyers would have to track down owners and negotiate a series of complex deals.
External investment companies own around 85% of buildings on the street, which has seen its fortunes fade in recent years with properties with unrivalled views of the city languishing as storerooms, the report said.
Edinburgh attracts around 13 million tourists each year, and is the second most visited destination in the UK after London. Thousands of revellers line the streets each December for its world-famous New Year street party.
13 million tourists?
Edinburgh has less than 10,000 hotel rooms - do the maths!