Arab billionaire rents London flat for $90,000 a week

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By value, MENA homeowners hold 13 percent of London’s most expensive property

By value, MENA homeowners hold 13 percent of London’s most expensive property

A Middle Eastern businessman has signed a lease to rent London’s most expensive property at a cost of £55,000 ($90,000) a week, in the latest sign Arab investors are some of the biggest spenders on British prime real estate.

The unnamed billionaire will be moving into the four-bedroom penthouse in one of the capital city’s most exclusive districts, Knightsbridge, Harrods Estates said, at a cost of $4.7m a year.

The company declined to confirm the nationality of the tenant but the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper reported the man as an “unnamed Middle Eastern man”.

The penthouse is located in one of the capital’s three most exclusive real estate developments, One Hyde Park, Lancelot Place and The Knightsbridge.  

The property arm of the London-based luxury department store said it had seen a surge in demand for luxury property across London from Middle East, Russian and Asian clients.

The firm said it had seen the average cost of its rented property increase to £4,285 from March to date compared to £1,955 the same period the previous year.

“Some 89 percent of our sales are from high-net-worth individuals from overseas, particularly Russia, Middle East and Asia, where we achieve our highest sales,” Shirley Humphrey, sales and marketing director of Harrods Estates, said in a statement.

“The prime property market in London is the fastest growing area in the UK. We have not only seen an increase in demand from buyers but also those looking to rent, which in turn is pushing prices up. We recently secured a rental of £55,000 per week, which is a record figure for us.” London is often seen as a safe haven for Middle Eastern investors, who flock to the capital during the hot summer months.

Buyers from the Middle East and North Africa are among the biggest spenders on luxury property, holding a 10 percent share of prime central London real estate, real estate consultancy Savills said in June.

By value, MENA homeowners hold 13 percent of London’s most expensive property, with an average spend of £4m, the consultancy said.

Luxury development One Hyde Park, which was launched to great fanfare in January, broke world records for the most expensive price per square foot at £6,000.

Buyers in the luxurious development, which includes 86 apartments overlooking either Hyde Park or Harvey Nichols, are said to include Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Jaber Al-Thani and Mohammed Saud Sultan Al Qasimi, head of finance for the government of Sharjah.

Between 20-25 percent of sales were to Middle East buyers, with the cheapest apartment in the development costing £5.75m ($9.2m), Arabian Business reported in June.

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Posted by: Shakeel

Randy, I feel for you and had tears my eyes when reading the wastage of someone's natural wealth plunder by a handful.

Spending on the betterment of the poor and those suffering would be better charity of smiles rather than not able to enjoy from the wastage.

Posted by: UNEXPECTED

I find it weird that we are discussing what this guy has done. He has the right to spend it however he wants. It is his money at the end. As long as he is not using it to harm others, then he got the right to do whatever he wants with it. If I were him, I would do the exact same thing, but then I will make sure my name and picture are posted everywhere :). I have read all comments, but seriously loved Omar's last reply. That's deep Omar, and you might be right. These people def are smart and some of them are wicked, so they have thought about each move, and what that entails accordingly. Big spenders are not ones to feel sorry for, nor to criticize. It is what it is, and lucky the owner of that property.

Posted by: Randy Brandon


@ Omar - I used to work Red Cross in Somalia and Sudan. It costs approx. USD 5 per week to feed one child.
USD 4,700,000 would therefore feed 19,584 kids for one whole year. That's a whole population of one fairly large city.

It makes you think, doesn't it.

Posted by: Ray

I agree with you Sara that he is helping the various people you mentioned. However it is not his intent to help those people, rather to live a luxurious and glamorous lifestyle.

If he donated that money to charity, or even a fraction of it, then he would be doing a good deed.

Posted by: Sara

He is still helping the economy by putting that money into circulation --- the realtors, their underlings, housekeepers, groundsmen, tradesmen etc. --- they go and shop etc..etc..
Obviously it would be best if he donated that to feed children but it would be far worse if he invested it in gold or similar and sat on it!!!

Posted by: Omar

At a rent of $4.7 million per year I would think it would be more financially attractive to buy a property for around $10 million. As it is at the end of two years this person would have spent the cost of the property with nothing to show for it. Of course who knows...perhaps by doing this he is reducing his tax footprint, writing off the rent as expense and avoiding captial gains tax?

I wonder how many starving people you could feed on $4.7 million per year?

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