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French Version

Shaheen in move to UK as part of £2 billion spree

Shaheen Business and Investment Group, the private Jordanian property company run by Khaled Shaheen, is to transfer its headquarters to Berkeley Square, West London, in the autumn as part of a planned £2 billion spending spree on British real estate.

The company, whose Jordanian roots date back to the 1870s, has established a new real estate arm—Vantage Real Estate Development—to invest in commercial and residential properties worldwide. Shaheen has taken an 8,000 sq ft suite in the exclusive Berkeley Square development and will acquire another 25,000 sq ft office in Hammersmith. Ten key staff will relocate from Jordan and Shaheen is on a hiring spree to expand its team to more than 200 people. The family-owned group has a turnover of $1.5 billion (£815 million), with about $3 billion of assets under management. The equity of the business is owned jointly by Mr Shaheen and his brother.

The company is likely to be floated within the next four years. Shaheen is due to announce an ambitious $1.5 billion residential and commercial development project on the Red Sea in Egypt targeted at the super-rich. The scheme, to be called Serrenia, has been designed by Foster & Partners, the architect of London’s “Erotic Gherkin”. Located in Sahl Hasheesh, an hour’s flight from Cairo, the scheme will span 1.6 million square meters and include five “palaces” of 2,500 square meters each. In total there will be more than 100 apartments ranging in price from $1.7 million to $25 million. The project will include a 200-bedroom luxury hotel.

Mr Shaheen said that he hoped that the development would set new standards in luxury and would be aimed at wealthy investors from, the Middle East, America, Russia and other European states. Helicopters will be located on site to transport residents to famous sites in Egypt, while Ferraris and Lamborghinis will be available for residents’ use. Chefs will be on call to prepare food for guests with just 24 hours’ notice. Construction work on the scheme will begin this year and will take about 3 years to complete. The company hopes to replicate the Serrenia complex in Spain, the Gulf and Morocco. Separately in Britain, the company is planning to invest in high-class residential and commercial projects and carry out high-quality residential developments.

Mr Shaheen started his business career after selling a $5,000 second-hand car given to him by his father. The proceeds helped to fund a trip to Germany, where, with the help of a family friend, he started to sell German cars to Jordanians and other Middle Eastern investors. He bought at a discount and sold at a premium, pocketing the difference and making $1 million in less than a year at just 18 years old.

Amman,10July2006
Redaction
The Star


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