His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani (pictured), Governor of Qatar Central Bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shard Funding Limited, announced that the inauguration of Shard Tower in London will be on July 5th 2012.
The tower will be inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and Prince Andrew Albert Edward, the Duke of York.
The announcement of the inauguration of the tower came during a recent Qatari delegation visit to London, headed by His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani to inspect the tower’s latest developments and completion details. The Shard, in which the State of Qatar is a majority investor (95%), is considered the centrepiece of London’s historic London Bridge Quarter.
The delegation also included Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of the Shard Funding Limited.
During the visit, His Excellency inspected the tower. He was also given a detailed brief on the last stages of the construction process, the security and safety measures, and the multi-use features of the tower, including prime residential apartments, high quality offices, signature restaurants and the 5-star Shangri-La hotel.
Towering over the South Bank of the Thames, The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe at 310m (1,016 ft) and will consist of the capital’s highest public viewing gallery offering 360° views of the City of London.
On this occasion, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani stated that the inauguration date is quite significant as it coincides with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and is just a few weeks prior to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics that will be held in London during this summer.
He also added: “In addition to punctuating the skyline, The Shard, which appears over London Bridge Station, will be the highly visible face of London‘s newest commercial quarter for the millions of people who pass through the transport hub”.
His Excellency said that The Shard is an enduring symbol of the close ties between Qatar and the United Kingdom and joins a broad investment portfolio that highlights the synergy between our countries, pointing out that the relatively fast completion of this project is a significant milestone.
He also stated that the external investments embody the Qatar 2030 vision; a roadmap to achieve a diversified income that is independent from oil and gas revenues. Therefore, from an investment perspective, this landmark is the path towards realizing our objective.
Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of the Shard Funding Limited, who was also part of the delegation, said: “This towering endeavor embodies our vision to create an alternative investment to oil. And today, I’m proud to say that we are at the final stages of inaugurating The Shard, London’s newest iconic landmark.”
He also said that it is important for the State of Qatar as it represents a major investment in an eclectic and vibrant city and region that presents excellent opportunities for people and businesses on the South Bank. The Shard enjoys a unique, contemporary design and offers a wide array of modern facilities. It uses a thermally efficient façade that prevents overheating by reacting to natural lighting levels maintaining stable temperatures.
London Bridge Quarter will comprise two major buildings, The Shard and The Place, which is an office building. The multi-use vertical city features high quality offices, the 5-star Shangri-La hotel with more than 200 rooms and suites that is due to open by November 2012 and 3 floors of signature restaurants, It will also feature exclusive super prime residential apartments and the top levels will consist of the capital’s highest public viewing gallery offering 360° views of the City of London.
The Place is a ground-breaking new business destination that makes a strong and compelling corporate statement in London’s newest commercial quarter. London Bridge Quarter also includes the Shard Plaza, a new public space, new station concourse and bus station, which will be fully completed by the end of the first quarter 2013
Designed by leading international architect, Renzo Piano, a piazza will link the two buildings with London Bridge Station transforming the area into a vibrant public attraction and making London Bridge Quarter the centre of a rejuvenated South Bank.
The London Bridge Quarter redevelopment has been carefully designed to be a community resource. It will be part of the continuing regeneration of this already exciting part of London’s South Bank and is also expected to help make this area a destination for both international business and tourists.
Visitors to the Shard will be treated to stunning views of the capital and its surrounding countryside. And it is estimated that more than 1 million people a year will take advantage of the highest public viewing gallery in Europe.
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