Revealed: the huge British property empire of Sheikh Mohammed
The controversial ruler of Dubai has acquired a land and property empire in Britain that appears to exceed 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres), making him one of the country’s largest landowners, according to a Guardian analysis. (..)
The Guardian has mapped these expansive private holdings linked to Sheikh Mohammed, who is vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, using Land Registry records and company filings.
The exact scale of his British landholding is not known because most of the properties connected to him are owned via offshore companies in the tax havens of Guernsey and Jersey. That raises familiar questions about the secretive nature of large amounts of property ownership in Britain, and whether it is structured in ways to avoid paying UK taxes when the properties are sold. (..)
In 2013, one of his family’s companies bought a property in Belgravia’s historic Eaton Square from the estate of the Duke of Westminster, for £17.3m – an illustration of historic British gentry selling to the dynastic billionaires of the Gulf. (Continua)