Khalaf Al Habtoor, Chairman, Al Habtoor Group, receives the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary – Civil Division from the Hungarian government. Joanna Andrews reports.
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman, Al Habtoor Group was presented with state honours from the Hungarian government on 8 May 2016 at a ceremony in the capital Budapest. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented Chairman Al Habtoor with the prestigious ‘Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary - Civil Division’ in recognition of his investments in Budapest and his commitment to the country.
The accolade was presented to Chairman Al Habtoor by His Excellency Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In his speech the Minister praised Al Habtoor for his devoted efforts to improve bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates and Hungary. “This state award is to a great friend of Hungary,” he said, “in appreciation for the role he has played in helping to improve the image of Hungary.”
Al Habtoor owns two five-star hotels in the Hungarian capital Budapest. Al Habtoor was in the city for the official opening ceremony of The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest, which he purchased in 2012 under the Le Méridien brand. The historic hotel was recently renovated under The Ritz-Carlton brand. The hotel consists of 170 elegant rooms and 30 suites, a luxury urban spa, indoor swimming pool, meeting rooms and a ballroom.
Al Habtoor also owns the InterContinental Budapest, which was added to the international portfolio in 2014.
Al Habtoor said he was delighted to be honoured with such a highly-coveted award from the Hungarian government, “Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and I am very proud of the Al Habtoor Group’s investments in the country. Budapest is a vibrant and historic city that is full of culture.”
The Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary is given to those who have substantially contributed to the development of Hungary and the promotion of the country’s interests, who have delivered an outstanding and exemplary performance in serving Hungary, and who are endowed with universal human merits.