A 40-year-old Qatari businessman who is the brother-in-law of the Gulf state’s ruler is the new owner of London’s Ritz Hotel, UK company filings show.
An unnamed Qatari investor agreed to buy the Mayfair hotel from the billionaire Barclay family last month, inflaming tensions in a bitter family fight between Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay.
Filings at the UK’s Companies House show that the hotel is now owned by Qatari businessman Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri, who is the brother of Sheikha Al-Anoud, the second wife of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar.
Mr Al-Hajri took control of a company called Green Park (No 1) Limited on February 25. This company acquired the group that ultimately owned the Ritz a month later on March 25, two days before UK law firm Macfarlanes announced it had advised an unnamed Qatari buyer of the London hotel.
An employee of Macfarlanes registered Green Park (No 1) Limited as a company earlier in February.
Macfarlanes declined to comment.
One person involved in the transaction confirmed Mr Al-Hajri’s purchase. He added that while Mr Al-Hajri is the brother-in-law of the Qatari emir, the businessman is an investor in his own right.
Companies House filings show that Mr Al-Hajri also owns an expensive riverside mansion in Turkey through a UK investment company.
The identity of the Qatari buyer had been kept private since the announcement of the sale by Macfarlanes in late March.
The sale of the hotel took place at a fraught time for the Barclay brothers, with Sir Frederick launching legal proceedings against his twin’s children.
Earlier this year, Sir Frederick and his daughter Amanda accused Sir David’s sons Aidan, Howard and Alistair, and grandson Andrew, of secretly bugging the Ritz in an alleged attempt to listen in on the pair’s conversations about the family’s business dealings. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for early May.
In recent weeks, Sir Frederick has made rare public comments vehemently opposing the sale of the London hotel, which included the threat of litigation when the deal was announced. A representative for Sir Frederick declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Simeon Kerr