Qataris buy £40m six storey Mayfair mansion
Property deal seen as key move in Qatari family’s bid to create Mayfair enclave
The Qatari ruling family has snapped up one of Mayfair’s finest family homes for more than £40 million in its latest central London spending spree, the Evening Standard can reveal.
The six-storey Victorian town house just off Park Lane was sold by tycoon David Meller in a deal that has underlined the dynasty’s ambition to create a “Qatari quarter” in London’s most exclusive area.
The sale of the 10,000 sq ft brick house in Mount Street — one of the most expensive deals in London so far this year — will trigger a stamp duty payment to the Treasury of more than £4.7 million.
One property expert said: ”The house is huge but is just one bit of the jigsaw. It is part of the assembly of a much bigger estate in north-west Mayfair. The Al Thani family are looking to build a vast luxury dormitory where you might have an aunt living in one property and a cousin in another.”
The “Little Doha” enclave is centred around the £200 million Park Lane mansion Dudley House — a house so grand that the Queen is said to have observed that it made Buckingham Palace look “rather dull” by comparison.
The 17-bedroom residence is owned by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani and has an 81ft-long gallery with works by Gainsborough and Van Dyck.
Other Al Thani-owned properties in the area dubbed Qataropolis include the former Brazilian embassy building on Green Street, a £13 million home on Park Street and a £12 million house on Davies Street.
The spree has rocked London’s property establishment and puts the Qataris on course to rank alongside, or even eclipse, the West End’s great aristocratic estate owners such as the Duke of Westminster and Viscount Portman.
The latest deal comes just weeks after the oil- and gas-rich nation’s Constellation Hotels bought a controlling stake in Mayfair’s most prestigious five star hotels, the Connaught and Claridge’s — as well as The Berkeley in Knightsbridge — from the Barclay brothers. The deal is thought to have valued the three hotels at about £1.5 billion.
A Qatari property developer also owns the American embassy building in Grosvenor Square as well as trophies ranging from Chelsea Barracks to a majority holding in The Shard.
The newest Qatari acquisition is an Arts and Crafts-style brick home built between 1892 and 1894 that was the London home of the Northamptonshire aristocrat Lord Lilford in the Thirties. The grade II-listed house was refurbished by the Meller family in 2008.
They used the upper floors as a home and the basement to second floors as offices. A swimming pool was also installed in the basement.
The new owners are likely to have already made a profit as global demand for properties in the most sought-after streets of central London has soared since the election last week. Giles Hannah of Christies International Real Estate said he had received £250 million worth of instructions to buy central London homes since the Tory victory.
He said: “It’s mind-boggling, it suddenly feels like boom-time again and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.” He forecast that prices would rise by between 15 and 20 per cent by the end of next year.
Mr Meller, whose Bedford-based family business makes fashion and household items, is a former vice-chairman of Watford football club and was last year appointed chair of the National Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network. He was not available for comment.
The sale was handled by Peter Wetherell of Mayfair estate agents Wetherell. Mr Wetherell would not comment.