A timeline of our milestones

We've come a long way to get where we are today

Humble Beginnings

The Queensway story begins in East Africa, in Tanzania which is where the Jivraj family comes from. A natural entrepreneur, Nurdin Jivraj (Queensway’s founder) took a loan from his father and opened a shop in Dar-es-Salaam which he ran with the help of his wife, Munira. From these humble beginnings, their business grew and eventually they held a monopoly over the rice and flour market in Tanzania.

Nurdin Jivraj

Political upheaval

Out of nowhere, political upheaval meant that all their businesses were taken over by the government, and the family was forced to emigrate to the UK in 1971.

A New Start..

In the UK, Nurdin started again, this time he ventured into the real estate business and then the hotels business in 1973. Over the years he built a very sizable portfolio of hotels both in the UK and abroad. At the same time, he continued to invest in a portfolio of residential property, including purchasing all 111 flats at Albert Hall Mansions in 1978 against fierce competition.

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Thrown in at the deep end

During the last year of university Nick (Nurdin’s son) joined the family business. He was thrown in at the deep end and asked to run the US hotel operation which consisted of 2,500 rooms located around the Disney World area in Florida. He worked in this role until 1984 when he returned to London, Here he continued to work in the hotels business, uplifting and rebranding tired assets to 3-star standard.

The crazy eighties

Throughout the late 80s we grew a portfolio of hotels in the US, Portugal, Holland and the UK, building a business with a net asset value of £100m in a London Stock Exchange listed company. This was a period of significant growth and wealth creation.

Our Hist Img3

Economic downturn

In the early 90s, the Gulf War hit, there was upheaval in the world economy and a major global recession ensued. The worldwide hotel industry suffered in particular because people were no longer travelling, and we were no exception. In 1995, our company entered receivership and the value that had been created was lost. This was the second time, due to political reasons outside of our control, the family business was lost and had to be rebuilt.

Resilient spirit

This was a period of significant difficulty and loss for the business and the family. However, the family spirit of resilience kicked in, we picked ourselves up, stayed strong and started to rebuild.

Our Hist Cars

Baby steps…

In 1995, we acquired a small hotel in Earls Court which Nick’s wife, Naseem, managed whilst he went looking for new business opportunities. That hotel became an easyHotel in 2007 and was redeveloped into the Point A Hotel Kensington in 2019.

Nick gets his break

After attempting different business ventures from 1995, Nick got his break in the year 2000 when the UK Government put out a tender to the private sector to provide housing for 5,000 people. We won that contract and the income from this gave us the financial foundation to restart in the hotels business.

The Queensway that we know today!

It was only in the year 2000, that we started to develop what is today known as Queensway. We held on to our portfolio of residential property which we were renting out to tenants, we re-entered the hotels business as franchisees of Holiday Inn Express and diversified into the world of Food and Beverage franchising with KFC in Austria, Slovakia in 2004, and later, the UK. In 2006, we opened Montagu Place, our lovely boutique hotel in London Marylebone.

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A gap in the market

In 2010, we recognised there was a gap in the London market for people travelling who did not want large rooms with the usual hotel facilities and frills.

We teamed up with Tune Hotels, part of Air Asia, out of Malaysia to bring their low cost hotel model to the UK. We opened our first Tune Hotel in London Westminster in 2010 and grew this portfolio to 5 owned hotels in London by 2014 and 1 owned hotel in Nairobi, Kenya in 2017.

Time for a new challenge

Tune Hotels was a successful business, but in 2016, we started to question whether we could do more with our assets. We took the decision to exit the Tune franchise in 2017, rebranding to Point A Hotels – our very own budget boutique hotel brand.

Our Nairobi Tune Hotel was rebranded to an ibis Styles in partnership with Accor Hotels.

Coffee anyone?

Our reputation as KFC franchisees meant that, in 2015, we were approached by Starbucks to be one of their first franchisees in the UK, acquiring a portfolio of stores. We are now actively growing our pipeline.

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A little bit of luxury

In 2017, we welcomed the iconic Sloane Club into the Queensway family. The Sloane Club is a private members club in London’s Chelsea with 133 bedrooms. In 2019, we opened Sloane Place, a boutique hotel and café bar within the footprint of the Club.

Exiting the UK KFC business

With limited growth opportunity, due to a change in development requirements imposed by the franchisor, we sold our UK KFC business of 20 stores in 2018. However, we retained our KFC presence in Austria and Slovakia and are on a journey to grow this portfolio.

From 1973 to today, we’ve been on quite the journey. We’ve experienced the highs and the lows, all of which have added to our learning and development as an organisation. In all this, what we have managed to retain and grow is our resilient spirit, our ambition and drive, our desire to push ourselves to be better and a will to continuously learn and improve.

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