A Dubai-based hotelier has purchased the Plaza hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue with an eye on leveraging the hotel’s reputation into an international brand, the South China Morning Post reports.
“The Plaza is very unique but has never been made into a global brand,” said buyer Shahal Khan of White City Ventures, who announced his intention to open a Plaza-branded hotel in the United Arab Emirates by 2020.
“I’m looking for a place – maybe China, maybe even one in Europe – but I thought it might be good to make the only other one in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.”
The five-star hotel was purchased from India’s Sahara Parawar group.
The landmark Plaza – managed by Fairmont – opened in 1907 and has been a symbol of elegance and service for most of its 111-year history. The Palm Court restaurant and Oak Room bar are equally iconic New York gathering places.
The hotel was owned by current US President Donald Trump during the 1980s and 1990s, but he sold it after the debt-burdened acquisition led to bankruptcy.
Another past owner was Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who was detained in an anti-corruption crackdown by the country’s monarchy last year and forced to surrender assets and cash in exchange for his release.