Qatar is a favorite to acquire a 42 U.K.-based portfolio of Marriott hotels in a deal worth up to approximately $1.1 billion…Qatar Investment Authority is the highest bidder, although its Gulf rival Abu Dhabi also is in contention.

This year alone, Qatar’s hotel owner and developer Katara Hospitality has bought two flagship Raffles hotels in Singapore and Paris and also is set to buy four luxury hotels in France from Starwood Capital for $940 million. Separately this month, Qatar Holding announced its intentions to diversify Harrods, the London luxury department store that it acquired in 2010, into a global luxury brand.

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