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Sun 28 Aug 2011 09:14 AM

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

Harrods Estates reports surge in demand for luxury city units among MidEast buyers

Arab billionaire rents London flat for $90,000 a week
By value, MENA homeowners hold 13 percent of London’s most expensive property
Arab billionaire rents London flat for $90,000 a week
Canary Wharf London
Arab billionaire rents London flat for $90,000 a week
A general view of a house along Kensington Palace Gardens, which has been named as Britains most expensive street on June 1, 2011 in London, England. A recent property survey estimates the average house price of the street to be 19.2 million GBP. Many of the mansions are occupied by billionaire businessmen, embassies and ambassadorial residences. (Getty Images)
Arab billionaire rents London flat for $90,000 a week
One Hyde Park, London

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

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.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

Omar 8 years ago

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?

Randy Brandon 8 years ago

@ 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.

Sara 8 years ago

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!!!

Ray 8 years ago

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.

UNEXPECTED 8 years ago

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.

Shakeel 8 years ago

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.