Mohamed Al-Fayed sold Harrods to Qatari royal family
Harrods was sold to the Qatar royal family for £1.5 billion with chief executive Al Fayed planning to retire. Al Fayed will be given the role of “honorary chairman” though will have little day-to-day involvement with the store.
The sale was concluded in the early hours of 8 May and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani was sent to London to finalise the deal, saying that the acquisition of Harrods would add “much value” to the investment portfolio of Qatar Holdings while his deputy, Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, called it a “landmark transaction”.
A spokesman for Fayed said “in reaching the decision to retire, [Fayed] wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued.”
Harrods and Mohamed Al Fayed have been criticised for selling real animal fur with regular protests organised outside Harrods. Harrods is the only department store in the UK that has continued to sell fur.
Harrods was sharply criticized in 2004 by the Hindu community for marketing a line of feminine underwear (designed by Roberto Cavalli) which featured the images of South-Asian goddesses. The line was eventually withdrawn and formal apologies were made.