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UK: The wretched of the earth

Thursday 21 April 2016, by siawi3


‘Qatari Quarter’ Emerges in London’s Posh Mayfair Neighborhood
Qatar’s royal family is leading luxury investment in Mayfair, giving rise to a new ‘Qatari Quarter’

By Kathryn Hopkins

Originally published on March 29, 2016|Mansion Global|

Qatar’s royal family is leading luxury investment in Mayfair, giving rise to a new ‘Qatari Quarter.’
Artem Vorobiev / Getty Images

Wealthy Qataris now own a $1.4 billion chunk of London’s posh Mayfair neighborhood, with the royal family leading the way.

Most of this investment is concentrated in ‘Qatari Quarter’ on the Northwest side of Mayfair, bordering Park Lane and Hyde Park, making the gas-rich state the largest buyer of luxury homes in this part of the neighborhood.

According to real estate consultancy Rokstone, this enclave is centered around the $285 million Dudley House on Park Lane, the London home of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, the cousin of Qatar’s ruling Emir.

Meanwhile, on nearby Green Street, the $57 million former Brazilian Embassy is reported to have been purchased by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the mother of the current Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The ruling family are also believed to own a $57 million townhouse on Mount Street; an $18.6 million house on Park Street; a $17 million townhouse on Davies Street; and the $257 million Lombard House on Curzon Street.

On neighboring streets, luxury homes have been purchased or rented by Qatari nationals. In addition to all of this, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund also owns the current home of the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square. When the embassy relocates to another part of London next year, plans call for the $714 million property to be converted to a luxury hotel and serviced residences.

On an annual basis, Rokstone calculates that Qatari buyers account for 5% of all Mayfair buyers — and more than 60% of the neighborhood’s properties priced at $14 million and higher.

Becky Fatemi, managing director of Rokstone, said, “The ‘Oil Royals’ and wealthy families from the Middle East view Mayfair as a luxury village and their favorite place in London, alongside Knightsbridge, for luxury shopping, dining out and leisure.”

Buyers from the Middle East — including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE — account for approximately $215 million worth of Mayfair sales each year. Nearly 65% of Mayfair’s current residents were born overseas, up from just under 50% in 2001.