UAE-based NRI tycoon Yusuffali MA acquires Scottish hotel which hosted Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor

UAE-based NRI business tycoon Yusuffali MA has acquired an iconic Edinburgh hotel which boasts of hosting the legendary Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and other celebrities, in a USD120 million deal.

The property has been clinched by Twenty14 Holdings (T14H), the hospitality investment arm of Abu Dhabi-headquartered Lulu Group International belonging to Yusuffali.

The Caledonian, a grand Edwardian hotel overlooking Edinburgh Castle, is being hailed as a Scottish landmark and has been added to the portfolio of USD650 million worth of luxury properties across the UK, the Middle East and India.

The T14H today announced plans to invest USD28 million for the expansion and enhancement of the historic hotel under its ownership, while retaining its heritage and distinctive architecture.

The Caledonian hotel is hailed as a Scottish landmark.
The Caledonian hotel is hailed as a Scottish landmark. Photo courtesy: Wilimedia

Sharing his excitement on acquiring the hotel, Adeeb Ahamed, managing director of T14H, said, “We are excited to add The Caledonian to the portfolio of Twenty14 Holdings. With more than 100 years of history, The Caledonian brings with it a rich heritage, character and unique opulence.”

He added that the company plans to honour the Scottish landmark, while adding to the experience the hotel already offers.

The hotel boasts of having been visited by famous names including Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, Bing Crosby and Sir Sean Connery.

UAE-based NRI business tycoon Yusuffali MA
UAE-based NRI business tycoon Yusuffali MA. Photo courtesy:

T14H intends to engage local craftsmen to work on the hotel's historic Caledonian suites.

"Luxury and style will be the keynote of these improvements. Bespoke furniture, eclectic artwork and en-suite bathrooms featuring marble and burnished chrome fittings will feature among a host of exclusive additions," T14H said.

The latest acquisition fits into the company strategy of investing in profitable luxury sites while preserving their historical legacy.

The Caledonian operates under the Hilton group's flagship Waldorf Astoria brand.

First opened in 1903 as part of the old Princes Street Railway Station, the hotel currently has 241 rooms and is home to two famous restaurants operated by Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin – the Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe.

It also houses the only spa by French skincare brand Guerlain in the UK, echoing the glamour of its counterpart in Paris.

Twenty14 Holdings was founded in 2014 as the hospitality arm of Lulu Group International.The hospitality group  co-owns the landmark Sheraton Oman Hotel in Muscat, a 230 room five-star hotel re-opened in 2016, and owns the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in Dubai, besides hotels in Kerala and Karnataka.