Harrods is to open branded hotels in London and other prime locations worldwide, as first tipped by Retail Week.

Harrods Hotels are also set to open in Kuala Lumpur, New York, Paris and China.

The move, confirming Retail Week’s 2010 story, is part of owner Qatar Holding’s expansion plans for the brand.

Preference will be given to build hotels on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, such as Chelsea Barracks in London or Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Qatar Holding and property developer Jerantas to study the potential development of a Harrods Hotel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

The Harrods owner will be establishing a hotel management company to help it select suitable sites around the world.

The initiative is borne from Qatar Holding’s strategic review which it conducted before it bought Harrods in 2010. It is the first stage of its programme to add value to the retailer.

Qatar Holding intends to grow Harrods into “a global enterprise that defines the luxury retail and leisure sectors”.