Qatari billionaires seek to pour cash into Kenya real estate

Dr Khalid Bin Thani
Dr Khalid Bin Thani, a member of the Al Thani Qatari royal family. PHOTO/COURTESY
Qatari billionaires are seeking to invest billions of shillings into the Kenyan real estate, further cementing the county’s position as a key investment hub in the region.

Led by Dr Khalid Bin Thani, a member of the Al Thani Qatari royal family, a group of rich Qataris jetted into the country this week to scout for deals in Kenya’s booming real estate, finance, communication and health.

“We are here to concentrate in real estate targeting the middle class, health, finance and communication and I’m also seeking your advice,” Dr Thani Thursday told a conference of top CEOs, state officials and journalists in Nairobi.

The high profile visit comes barely four months after President Uhuru Kenyatta invited Qatari investors to explore local investment opportunities in sectors such as construction, mining and telecommunications.

The Qataris join a growing list of super wealthy investors who are scouting for investment deals or increasing their activities in Kenya.

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has, for example, announced his intention to build a multi-billion shilling cement factory in Kenya as he seeks to become the main player in the local market.

READ: Dangote’s Kenya entry heralds stiff competition

The planned cement plant is however facing fierce opposition from local businessmen, who fear that Dangote might dominate the sector.

Sir Richard Branson, Mukesh Ambani and Flavio Briatore have also increased their investments in Kenya as they seek to tap into country’s fast growing economy.

American property tycoon Donald Trump has reportedly indicated an interest to invest in the proposed Nairobi Golf City development, although details about the matter remain scanty.