Qataris own more of London than the Queen

The Qatar Investment Authority is London's largest property owner. Picture / AP
The Qatar Investment Authority is London's largest property owner. Picture / AP

Qatari investors own more property in the capital than the Mayor of London's office and three times more than the Queen, according to new data seen by The Telegraph.

Canary Wharf Group Investment Holdings, which is co-owned by Qatar Holdings, part of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and American investment group Brookfield, is the capital's largest property owner, with almost 2 million square metres of space on its books, according to data from the research firm Datscha.

The government of Qatar also owns 167,225 square metres, making the Middle Eastern country by far the most dominant force in London property. In contrast, Her Majesty owns close to 678,192 square metres.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, the former head of the QIA, said last year that Qatari investment into the UK to date amounted to £30 billion ($53b), and that London was the preferred destination.

The QIA owns the site of the Chelsea Barracks, the Olympic Village and the Shard, along with Canary Wharf which contains some of the city's largest buildings.

Using data from the Land Registry, Companies House and the Valuation Office, Datscha analysed the top 100 landowners in the capital, which showed that the City of London Corporation controls the second highest holding, at 1.6m square metres, followed by Transport for London, at 1.38m square metres.

Insurance firm Aviva and French bank BNP Paribas make up the rest of the top five property owners.

The government of Kuwait has also been particularly aggressive, according to Datscha's figures, amassing 325,160 square metres in a relatively short amount of time and putting it 16th on the list, above most of the London boroughs and the National Grid.

The top 100 also features three major retailers: Tesco is 19th, John Lewis and Waitrose are joint 54th, and Walmart, the US parent company of Asda, is 89th.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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