HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), met HE French President François Hollande during their visit to the Republic of Senegal.
During the meeting, Mr. Hollande and Prince Alwaleed discussed political, economic and cultural matters. They also discussed the bi-lateral relations between Saudi Arabia and France, especially KHC’s investments in France that are considered to be the largest Saudi Arabian presence in France through the ownership and management of the iconic landmark The Four Seasons Hotel George V, the management of Le Royal Monceau Hotel (Raffles), Euro Disney, Paris that was saved from bankruptcy by KHC and Walt Disney and through the presence of Citigroup. Also Prince Alwaleed’s cultural contributions through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation that have donated US$20 million in 2005 to establish the center of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre.
The meeting between President Hollande and Prince Alwaleed was also attended by HE Mr. Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France, Ms. Hassna Al Turki, Department Head, Travel & External Affairs, Mr. Fahad Bin Saad Bin Nafel, Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman and Mr. Kacy Grine, Advisor to HRH the Chairman.
Moreover, during the visit Mr. Hollande and Prince Alwaleed attended the 15th Francophonie Summit at the International Conference Centre of Dakar in response to an invitation from HE Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. The summit aims at further strengthening the current investment and economic relations within the Francophonie countries.
The summit was attended by Heads of State, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and Senior Government Officials of countries which have the French language in common on the theme of “Women and Children in the Francophonie: Peacemakers and Key-players for Development“.
In addition, Prince Alwaleed met with President Sall, during the meeting the two discussed economic and investment issues. The President commended Prince Alwaleed on his local, regional and international investments.
In 2013, Prince Alwaleed received HE Mr. Youssou N’Dour, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Senegal and an accompanying delegation. In the same year, Prince Alwaleed visited the Senegal and met with President Mr. Macky Sall at the presidential palace, the meeting was also attended by Senegalese Ministers, KHC and Prince Alwaleed’s private office delegation. Moreover the President honored Prince Alwaleed the presidential medal “Grand Officer Del’ordre National Du Lion.”
Prince Alwaleed had visited Senegal in 2003, and met with Former President. During the visit, Prince Alwaleed was awarded the highest national award, the rank of “Grand Officer of The National Order of The Lion”, in recognition of his highness’ visit to Senegal. Prince Alwaleed had donated through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation – Global that is chaired by HRH approximately $1,500,000 to Senegal for the development of health and education projects there.
Recently, Prince Alwaleed met Mr. Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S, Paris. The two discussed a number of issues that included KHC’s investment in Euro Disney in which it holds a 10 % stake. In August 2014, French President François Hollande and Prince Alwaleed held a meeting at the French presidential Palace, The Elysee. In June 2014, KHC and Caisse des Dépôts International Capital (CDC International Capital – CDCIC) have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to establish an investment vehicle jointly managed by CDCIC and KHC seeking to develop Saudi projects and ventures that shall benefit from the involvement of French companies, technologies and know how.
In 2012, President Hollande and Prince Alwaleed inaugurated the new center of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre in Paris in the presence of Mr. Henrie Loyrette, Director of the Louvre Museum and Ms. Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture and Communications during a ceremony. In response to an invitation from the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who presided the G8 Summit for 2011, Prince Alwaleed attended the e-G8 forum that was held the eve of the G8 Summit.
The Four Seasons Hotel George V was ranked in Gallivanter’s Guide “Best City Hotel Worldwide” and “Best European City Hotel” for 11 years. Prince Alwaleed acquired the George V in 1996 for $178 million. A two-year $125 million comprehensive renovation was started in 1997. The total cost of acquiring the hotel and renovation amounted to $303 million, reflecting the Prince’s dedication to restore the glory of this landmark.
In 2006, HRH was bestowed the medal of “Legion of Honor,” with the rank of Commander by the former French President, Jacques Chirac during an official ceremony held at the Élysée Palace. The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor, and it was bestowed to the Prince in recognition of his role in strengthening Saudi-French cultural, business and economic relations. In 2007, HRH was awarded the “Golden” medal by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.