The London 2012 Olympic Village has taken on new life as a showcase for Qatari investment in the UK. In alliance with real estate investment company Delancey, Qatari Diar – Qatar Investment Authority’s property investment company – bought the site in 2011 for £557m, with a promise to build 2,818 new homes in the East Village. A tour yesterday showcased how the development of the former athletes’ village has taken shape. Qatari Diar’s wider London portfolio includes Chelsea Barracks, the Shell Centre near the London Eye, and the US Embassy’s Chancery Building.
London’s lord mayor, alderman Roger Gifford, last night hosted World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) guests at the Guildhall. International attendees included Kosovan President Atifete Jahjaga, Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane of Morocco, and Craig Cannonier, Premier of Bermuda. Baroness Warsi, minister of state at the foreign office, and Lord Green, minister for trade and investment, also gathered to hear WIEF chairman Tun Musa Hitam speak. Musa Hitam drew comparisons with the first WIEF meeting in 2005. Then, about 600 businesspeople gathered in Kuala Lumpur. Today, 18 global leaders, five central bank governors and 25 ministers will join around 2,500 other delegates.