Posts Tagged ‘qatar’

September 2013

How London turned into Richistan

Mail on Sunday

The city with more super-rich than anywhere else proves Putin had a point when he taunted PM about losing his capital to oligarchs.

It is 3am on a warm Tuesday in Cadogan Square, Belgravia, and a £200,000 orange Maserati screeches to a halt.
The driver revs the engine for several minutes, and the car – with Arab script on its registration plate – roars off into the night. By the time the sleepless residents reach their windows to peer out, the car has long gone.
For the next month the streets of the capital will be dominated by Ferraris and Maybachs in often garish colours, driven by the over-indulged sons of the Emirates aristocracy.

Sometimes the cars come straight from the Park Lane showroom. Sometimes the playboy owners fly their favourite vehicles – heavily customised, from gold-plated interiors to velvet-covered bodywork – more than 3,000 miles for a few weeks of fun in the London traffic.
It is an annual sojourn, delayed this year by Ramadan. With temperatures reaching 110F in Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, the ruling families have flocked to the temperate if polluted air of Knightsbridge for shopping and leisure.

And for the younger men – nights of boozing and ostentatiously bad behaviour impossible back home.
Welcome to super-rich London, the city with the highest number of multi-millionaires in the world, according to the respected Wealth Insight analysis – more than 4,000 individuals with more than £20 million per head, placing London ahead of Tokyo, Singapore and New York.
Last week, speaking at the G20 Summit, Vladimir Putin described Britain as ‘a small island’. Nobody, said his spokesman, pays attention to it – except of course the Russian ‘oligarchs who have bought Chelsea’.

To that list he might have added the Khazakhs, Azerbaijanis, Malaysians, Chinese, Indians and even Greeks and Italians who are all scrambling to buy up London in ever greater numbers.
The tide of foreign wealth seems unstoppable. ‘Super-prime’ homes, usually defined as the top 5 per cent of the most valuable properties, are being sold to international buyers at a rate of almost 85 per cent, while 60 per cent of newly built property in London is bought by overseas investors, mainly from the Far East.
Greek and Italian investors are said to be buying £500 million of British property a year.

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