Sultan of Brunei leading in bid for the Plaza and Dream Hotel in New York

By Melissa Barclay,

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is leading as the bidder for the Plaza Hotel and Dream Hotel in New York, as well as the Grosvenor House in London.

An investment firmed affiliated with Brunei has offered to pay $2.2 billion for the three hotels. The Sultan was criticized back in April for harsh sharia laws in Brunei and the country’s anti-LGBT laws, reported The Hindustan Times.

Bolkiah also owns two hotels in the U.S., Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel-Bel Air. As a result of Brunei’s strict laws, the two hotels have faced boycotts from rights campaigners as well as celebrities.

The luxury hotel business of the Sultan’s is run under the Dorchester Collection, and does not follow the anti-gay laws of Brunei. Ty Cobb of the Humans Rights Campaign urged New Yorkers to fight against the Sultan’s plan to buy the New York hotels.

“We urge all New Yorkers to have one simple and straight-forward message for the Sultan: take your business elsewhere,” said Cobb.

According to Wall Street Journal, the strict sharia laws include death by stoning for homosexuals as well as adulterers. As a result of the boycotts, the hotel operator has lost millions of dollars in revenue.

The Sultan’s plans to buy the hotel were definite, and an agreement on the hotels may be finalized next month.

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