Harrods sold to Qatari firm

The following brief appears courtesy of Al Jazeera

 

Harrods, the iconic London department store, has been sold to Qatari investors in a deal reportedly worth $2.2bn.

Mohamed Al Fayad, the flamboyant Egyptian businessman who has owned Harrods for a quarter of a century, sold the store to Qatar Holding after deciding he wanted to retire and spend more time with his family, his financial advisers said.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani, the Qatari prime minister, welcomed the deal during a visit to the store on Saturday.   

“What I can assure you is Qatar Holding will do their best to upgrade this monument, to make it even greater and better for the tourism and the British people,” he said.

Global brand

Al Fayad had owned Harrods since 1985 and built the business into a globally recognised luxury brand during his time at the helm.

But during his ownership he had a series of disputes with the British establishment. He was unsuccessful in getting British citizenship, and believed that he had been unfairly targeted by UK tax authorities.

Al Fayad is best known in Britain for his belief that his son, Dodi, and Princess Diana, were the victims of an establishment plot when they died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Al Fayad spent vast sums of money on trying to prove official involvement in the deaths after the accident.

Qatar Holding is Harrods’ fifth owner since it opened as a small grocery in 1840.

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