Mayfair spree creates 'Qatari quarter'

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A £1 billion spending spree has created a new “Qatari quarter” in Mayfair as the oil-rich emirate’s royalty pump huge sums into London real estate, new research showed today.

West End estate agent Rokstone says that the investment by the Qatari royal family, nationals and wealth funds poured into mansions and apartments has formed the quarter on the north-west of Mayfair, bordering Park Lane and Hyde Park. 

The exclusive district covers almost a quarter of Mayfair’s 279 acres and 4300 homes, the agent suggests, with borders running from South Street and the Dorchester Hotel to North Row and with Duke Street to the east and Grosvenor Square and Carlos Place to the west.

The empire centres on the £200 million Dudley House in Park Lane, the London base of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani and a cousin of the currentemir.

It also includes the £40 million former Brazilian Embassy, reportedly purchased for the mother of the current ruler, while the ruling family are also believed to own almost £250 million of townhouses in Mount Street, Park Street, Davies Street and Curzon Street. 

Elsewhere in the upmarket area Qatari Diar, controlled by the Qatari Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund, owns the £500 million US Embassy in Grosvenor Square and will convert it into luxury homes when the embassy relocates to Nine Elms next year. 

Rokstone estimates that buyers from Qatar account for 5% of all Mayfair buyers every year and more than 60% of all buyers for property priced above £10 million. 

Each year, around £150 million worth of Mayfair sales are to buyers from the Middle East, dominated by purchasers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Rokstone managing director Becky Fatemi said north-west Mayfair is now “the West End address of choice for Qatari and other Gulf state end-user buyers and tenants”.

She added: “The ‘oil royals’ and wealthy families from the Middle East view Mayfair as a luxury village and their favourite place in London, alongside Knightsbridge, for luxury shopping, dining out and leisure.

Over two-thirds of Mayfair residents typically eat out three to four times per week and Middle East residents spend on average £1900 per shop.”

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March 30, 2016 |
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