Ugandan Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia Completes $300 Million Kingdom Kampala Building

Real Estate

Sudhir Ruparelia

Sudhir Ruparelia

Ugandan businessman and former billionaire Sudhir Ruparelia has completed Kingdom Kampala and opened it to the public.

According to sources at the Ruparelia Group, the property, which is the newest addition to Kampala’s glistening skyline, was constructed at a cost of more than $300 million. It has taken more than a decade to build.

Kingdom Kampala is a mega-mixed use mall situated in the city’s Central Business District. Out of the 40,000m2 built up area, 22,000m2 is lettable, consisting of 18,000m2 of office space, 4,000m2 of retail as well as parking for up to 450 cars. The property has 10 floors of office space, 47 retail units and 3 floors of basement parking.

Construction on Kingdom Kampala started off in 2006 after Saudi investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal leased 15 acres (6.1 ha) of prime land in the center of Kampala from the government of Uganda for 99 years. Alwaleed’s company, Kingdom Holding, was supposed to build a five star hotel to be opened in 2009. In the aftermath of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, Kingdom Holding failed to mobilize financing to complete the Hotel, and in 2016 Ruparelia’s Crane Management Services (CMS), a subsidiary of Ruparelia Group, acquired the property and restarted construction work.

It’s a major feat for Ruparelia, 62, who over the last three years has suffered a series of setbacks in running his business empire. In 2017, the Central Bank of Uganda shut down four Forex Bureaus owned by his conglomerate. A year before that, the Ugandan Central Bank took control of Crane Bank, the commercial bank that the Ruparelia group controlled, over what the country’s apex financial institution described as capital inadequacy problems.

Sudhir Ruparelia is the founder of Ruparelia Group, one of Uganda’s largest conglomerates. The company owns a string of hotels and country clubs and more than 200 commercial properties. FORBES Magazine ranked him as Uganda’s first billionaire in 2012, but he has since dropped out of the ranks.

Follow me on Twitter @MfonobongNsehe. Email: mfon.nsehe (at) gmail.com

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