HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) received The Rt Hon. Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Bear on Sunday 13th February 2011 at his office in Riyadh. The Lord Mayor was accompanied by a delegation that included the Alderman Sheriff of London, Fiona Woolf, HE Sir Tom Philips, British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Paul Williams, Director Trade and Investment, and Mr. Peter Broom, Deputy Director for Trade and Investment.
The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shadi Sanbar, CFO, Kingdom Holding, Dr. Samir Anabtawi, Academic Advisor, Ms. Heba Fatani, Senior Executive Manager Corporate Communications Department, Dr. Nahla Alanbar Private Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman, Ms. Intisar Al Yamani, Executive Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Fahad Al Ofi, Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman and Ms. Manal Al Shammary, Protocol Manager.
The meeting began as HRH cordially received the Lord Mayor and in turn he thanked Prince Alwaleed for his reception. During the meeting the two discussed a number of investment and philanthropic issues, shedding light on decades of Saudi-British relations. The two also discussed a number of general local, regional issues and the current global economic climate.
Furthermore, during the discussions the Prince referred to Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation that he chairs referring to the various donations made by the Foundation to university centers to promote cultural dialogue and build a bridge between East-West for tolerance, and understanding stressing the importance of this initiative.
Prince Alwaleed has a long established relationship with the UK through his investments via KHC and through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation.
In late 2010, Prince Alwaleed and HH Princess Ameerah Al Taweel, Vice Chairwoman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, were received by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House during their visit to the United Kingdom. During the meeting the two royals discussed the Prince’s investments through KHC in the United Kingdom and Prince Alwaleed’s donations to university centers to encourage inter-cultural dialogue. Prince Alwaleed thanked Prince Charles for his hospitality and warm welcome. The two royals also discussed the newly established Prince Alwaleed Prince of Wales Fund that supports the preservation of heritage and Islamic art, tackles issues related to unemployment and supports training. Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation created this endowment fund at The Prince’s Charities. The two Princes also discussed the Arpana Trust (The Arpana Charitable Trust, UK) that provides aid to afflicted people in India. Prince Charles is a Patron of the Trust and Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation had given support to the Trust with a SR 3,750,000 donation.
In March 2010, Prince Alwaleed was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor honoris causa from the University of Edinburgh in a ceremony at the Signet Library, Parliament Square, and also inaugurated the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam at Edinburgh University. The degree was conferred by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh is Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge.
In May 2008, HRH made a £16 million endowment to create two new research centres for Islamic studies at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh (£8 million for each university). The new centers will carry out both research and public engagement designed to enhance understanding between the Muslim world and the West. In 2002, the Prince made a £1 million endowment to the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. In the same year, the Prince received a Doctorate in Law from Exeter University.
His Highness had received the Prince of Wales at Kingdom Resort in Riyadh in 2006 and the Duke of York in March 2009 when the Prince Hosted a dinner in his honor, and previously received him in 2007. Moreover, Prince Alwaleed received Mr. Blair in January 2009.
Prince Alwaleed through KHC has a number of investments in the United Kingdom including Canary Warf in the real estate sector and Citigroup in the financial sector. In addition, other investments include a 47.5% interest in the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts co-owned by the billionaire Bill Gates, which manages 3 hotels; London at Park Lane, London at Canary Wharf and the third in Hampshire. Moreover, in November 2010, The Prince of Wales, Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah inaugurated The Savoy one of KHC’s major investments in the United Kingdom. The two also performed the grand inauguration by unveiling a marble plaque.