Mohamed Al Fayed, a former owner of Harrods whose son Dodi died in a vehicle accident with Diana, Princess of Wales, has passed away at the age of 94.
He was born in Egypt and established a commercial empire there before relocating to the UK in the 1970s.
But he never succeeded in realizing his dream of obtaining a passport for his new nation.
Al Fayed spent years looking into what exactly happened when his oldest son Dodi and Princess Diana perished in a vehicle accident.
He had lived in his Surrey mansion with his family for the past ten years, generally avoiding the spotlight.
In a statement released tonight, his family said: “Mrs Mohamed Al Fayed, her children and grandchildren wish to confirm that her beloved husband, their father and their grandfather, Mohamed, has passed away peacefully of old age on Wednesday August 30, 2023.
“He enjoyed a long and fulfilled retirement surrounded by his loved ones. The family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Al Fayed was also the former owner of Fulham Football Club.
The club said on Friday night that it was “incredibly saddened to learn” of his death.
“We owe Mohamed a debt of gratitude for what he did for our club, and our thoughts now are with his family and friends at this sombre time,” it said in a statement.
When he initially married Samira Khashoggi, the sister of Saudi rich arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who employed him in his Saudi Arabian import business, Al Fayed was a young guy living in Alexandria. This was the turning point in his life.
The position aided him in making new contacts in Egypt, and despite the marriage lasting only slightly longer than two years, Al Fayed went on to create his own shipping company.
He started working as an advisor to the Sultan of Brunei, one of the richest persons in the world, in 1966.
In 1974, after accumulating a sizable amount of income and experience, he relocated to Britain.
Five years later, eager to secure his standing, specifically among the higher echelons of British society, he bought the iconic Paris Ritz hotel with his brother Ali for £20m.
They went on to take over Harrods in 1985 for £615m, following a vicious bidding war with mining conglomerate the Lonrho group.
Al Fayed bought Fulham Football Club in the 1990s. The team rose from third tier to Premier League under his tenure.