Sheikh Mohammed, the controversial ruler of Dubai, has become one of the UK’s largest landowners, exceeding that of the Queen’s personal property portfolio.
Spanning 40,000 hectares, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s properties can be found on the most exclusive streets in London and in the most elusive locations in the Scottish Highlands, according to the Guardian.
In Scotland alone, the billionaire owns extensive moorland, including the 25,000-hectare Inverinate estate.
The exact scale of his landownership is not fully known, as many of his properties are tied to offshore companies based in known tax havens Guernsey and Jersey – sparking debate about whether owning property is structured in ways that benefit the UK’s tax system.
The vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates has pads across Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Kensington – some of the capital’s priciest areas.
One six-storey terrace in Knightsbridge named Rutland House was fitted with an underground swimming pool, aquarium and cinema before its purchase in 2018 for an eyewatering £61.5m.
Another £17.3m mansion in Eaton Square, which he bought from the Duke of Westminster in 2013.
The leafy county of Surrey is home to the billionaire’s £75m Longcross estate, which he bought in 1976.
The estate is infamous for being the residence from which his daughter, Princess Shamsa, tried to escape from 21 years ago.
His neighbours did not take kindly to his building of a six-foot fence around the property in 2019, for which he did not seek planning permission, according to The Sun.
Mohammed also owns Woodhay, a mansion bought by the same Guernsey-registered company that owns Longcross, which boasts 10 bedroom suites and a “swimming pool hall/ballroom” across 10 hectares of parkland.
The mansion is four miles away from Ascot, where he has been a guest in the Queen’s carriage.
In 1981, the ruler added the Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, Suffolk to his portfolio, with 63 hectares fit to keep his prime racehorses.
He also bought the Moulton Paddocks based in Newmarket, in 1994. The paddocks feature an equine spa.