New Research Shows Qatari Nationals Own £1 Billion Mayfair Property

New Research Shows Qatari Nationals Own £1 Billion Mayfair Property 5
New Research Shows Qatari Nationals Own £1 Billion Mayfair Property

New research collated by West End estate agent Rokstone reveals that members of the Qatari Royal family, other Qatari nationals and Qatari investment/wealth funds now own a large £1 billion chunk of Mayfair real estate including mansions, apartments and other buildings.

The London-based property agent highlighted that most of this investment is concentrated in an emerging ‘Qatari Quarter’, a large district on the North-West side of Mayfair, bordering Park Lane/Hyde Park. This is where the Qatari Royal family are understood to own a cluster of mansions and other properties, and in the neighbouring properties and streets around them luxury homes have been purchased or rented by Qatari nationals, making the Gulf state the largest buyer and tenant group for luxury property in this part of Mayfair.

The new data reveals that an area covering almost a quarter of Mayfair’s 279 acres and over 4,300 residential properties is now dominated by Qatari investors, end user buyers and tenants. The Western border of this “Qatari Quarter” is Park Lane and Hyde Park; the Northern border is North Row; the Eastern border is Duke Street, Grosvenor Square and Carlos Place; whilst the Southern border is South Street and the Dorchester Hotel.

New Research Shows Qatari Nationals Own £1 Billion Mayfair Property 6

The enclave is centred around the £200 million Dudley House on Park Lane, the London home of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani. Virtually next door on Green Street is the £40 million former Brazilian Embassy, which is reported to have been purchased as the new London home of Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the mother of the current Emir (ruler), Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The ruling family are also believed to own a £40 million townhouse on Mount Street; a £13 million house on Park Street; a £12 million townhouse on Davies Street and the £180million Lombard House on Curzon Street

On Reeves Mews nearby, the former Qatari Deputy Prime Minister Hamad Khalifa Abdullah Al-Attiyah is reported to have paid £24 million for a house. Qatari Diar, part of the Qatari Investment Authority (Sovereign Wealth Fund) also own the £500 million American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, with plans to convert it into a luxury hotel and serviced residences when the Embassy relocates to Nine Elms in 2017.

Connaught Hotel on Mount Street
Connaught Hotel on Mount Street

The Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) also have a £1 billion+ controlling stake in the ownership of the Connaught Hotel on Mount Street/Carlos Place and Claridges Hotel on Brook Street. The QIA also own the £400 million Park Lane Interncontinental Hotel. In the centre of this network of properties the Qatari government have based their Embassy at No.1 South Audley Street.

Rokstone calculate that on an annual basis buyers from the Qatar account for 5% of all Mayfair buyers, and over 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 UAE.

New Research Shows Qatari Nationals Own £1 Billion Mayfair Property 7

There is a “hierarchy of purchases” by Qatari buyers when it comes to property in Mayfair. At the top of the hierarchy is government-sponsored purchases of hotels, Embassies, trophy development sites or commercial buildings. These acquisitions are worth anything from £50 million upwards into the hundreds of millions. Alongside this is the purchase of principal private or official residences in Mayfair for the Qatari Ruling family, which are typically anything from £50 million to £200 million in value.

Next in the hierarchy are houses or apartments for lesser Royals and wealthy Qatari business people and families, typically valued from £3 million to £15 million. Rokstone reveal that the most sought after Mayfair addresses with Qatari buyers are Park Lane, Green Street, Mount Street, Upper Grosvenor Street, Upper Brook Street and Reeves Mews.

New Research Shows Qatari Nationals Own £1 Billion Mayfair Property 8

In addition to these purchases and on an annual seasonal basis, wealthy Qatari nationals also rent accommodation for their entourage (staff/servants, retainers, bodyguards) and student offspring studying in London – this type of accommodation is usually rental or hotel suite accommodation in Mayfair. Favoured buildings include 55 Park Lane, Fountain House, Grosvenor House Apartments and Grosvenor House Hotel, on Park Lane and Hereford House on North Row. The majority of Qatari residents who own or let homes in Mayfair are aged between 25-45. Most are young bachelors or bachelorettes and their friends, who see that living in Mayfair gives them easy access to fashionable shopping, restaurants, bars and clubs.

Mayfair’s Qatari residents fall into two categories: the first are people who visit London two or three times a year and stay for anything from two to six weeks at a time. The second type are Qataris who choose to make London their main home. This latter category is growing, with almost 50% of Middle East Mayfair residents now recording that they have lived in London as their main home for over a decade.

Becky Fatemi, Managing Director of Rokstone
Becky Fatemi, Managing Director of Rokstone

Rokstone says that the influx of Qatari and other Gulf residents into Mayfair has help make the address highly cosmopolitan. Whereas post-War the largest group of overseas residents were American, there are now residents from over 40 nationalities, with almost 65% of Mayfair’s residents now born overseas, up from just under 50% back in 2001. Over the last 15 years the biggest rise has been residents born in Europe and the Middle East.

Becky Fatemi, Managing Director of Rokstone says: “On the North West side of Mayfair property covering almost a quarter of the district’s 279 acres is now the West End address of choice for Qatari and other Gulf state end user buyers and tenants. 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 3-4 times per week and Middle East residents spend on average £1,900 per shop.”

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