Qatar has become one of London’s biggest landlords over the past ten years and now owns 24million square feet of prime real estate, it was revealed today.
The Qataris own the 22million sq ft Canary Wharf Group estate, with Canadian investor Brookfield, along with another 1.8million sq ft elsewhere in the capital.
And a ranking of London ownership compiled by Datscha puts the Qataris ahead of the City of London, Transport for London, Network Rail and even the Queen.
Foreign owned buildings: A ranking of London ownership compiled by Datscha puts the Qataris ahead of the City of London, Transport for London, Network Rail and even the Queen
Other organisations in the top ten revealed yesterday by Property Week magazine are British Land Company, BNP Paribas, Legal and General, Aviva and Segro.
Much of the £80billion invested by the Qatari Investment Authority alongside its investment and real estate arms since 2005 has gone into the UK real estate sector.
Former prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani revealed last year that Qatari investment in the UK to date had now hit £30billion.
Foreign investors from countries such as Qatar tend to invest in the five main London areas of Kensington, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, the City and Canary Wharf.
Some of London’s tallest and most iconic buildings are owned by investors from other nations
Just recently Qatar Holding bought four five-star luxury hotels – Claridge’s, the Connaught, the Knightsbridge Berkeley and the Park Lane InterContinental.
|Rank||Owner||Area (sq ft)|
|1||Canary Wharf Group Investment Holdings||21,452,796|
|2||The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London||17,447,701|
|3||Transport for London||14,889,025|
|6||The Queens Most Excellent Majesty in Right of Her Crown||7,266,023|
|7||Legal & General Group||6,782,525|
|9||British Land Company||6,410,015|
Qatari Diar owns the former American Embassy in Grosvenor Square and the QIA has the Chelsea Barracks, The Shard and the Olympic Village.
Then two years ago Qatar Holding joined forces with Brookfield to buy Canary Wharf for £2.6billion, which was the UK property market’s biggest investment deal in a decade.
Raed Hanna from Mutual Finance, which has advises Qatari investors deals, told Property Week that UK property still seen as a safe haven for overseas money.
He said: ‘In Qatar they can get a 50 per cent or 60 per cent return against 5 per cent or 6 per cent here in the UK.
‘Nevertheless, the UK is still considered much safer than their own country, where they are too politically exposed.’
The ranking of London’s biggest 100 commercial landlords by square footage owned was taken from Land Registry, Valuation Office and Companies House data.