Ugandan Business Tycoon Mohammed Mohammed Hamid Faces Loss of Prestigious Multibillion-Dollar Pearl of Africa Hotel in High-Stakes Auction
Prominent Ugandan businessman, Mohammed Mohammed Hamid, widely known as AYA, is on the verge of losing his opulent multibillion-dollar hotel, the “Pearl of Africa,” nestled on Nakasero Hill in Kampala. Government court bailiffs from Amstrong Limited have set in motion a public auction, casting a shadow over the future of this iconic establishment.
Back in 2007, AYA secured a colossal loan of UGX 611 billion (approximately $150 million) from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to fund the ambitious construction of the luxurious hotel. However, over 16 years later, the loan remains largely unpaid, now towering at a staggering $150 million with accumulated interest.
In a bid to recover the colossal debt owed, IDC sought legal recourse, resulting in a High Court ruling that authorized the sale of the “Pearl of Africa” hotel. A desperate AYA appealed to Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, imploring him to intervene and prevent the sale of the prized property.
The “Pearl of Africa” hotel, a breathtaking 5-star establishment perched at an altitude of 1240 meters above sea level, boasts a commanding 360-degree view of Kampala City. Spanning an impressive 32,000 square meters, the hotel features 23 floors, 296 rooms, 37 suites, 2 restaurants, 3 bars, 9 meeting rooms, 15th floor executive lounges, and a fully-equipped business center, offering the epitome of top-tier 5-star amenities.
This looming auction represents a pivotal moment for AYA and the fate of the iconic “Pearl of Africa” hotel.