Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. and his close family, has acquired a land and property empire in Britain that appears to exceed 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres), making him one of the country’s largest landowners.
The property portfolio ranges from mansions, stables and training gallops across Newmarket, to white stucco houses in some of London’s most exclusive addresses and extensive moorland including the 25,000-hectare Inverinate estate in the Scottish Highlands. It surpasses the size of the Queen’s personal estates, according to Guy Shrubsole, a leading expert in land ownership.
The exact scale of his British landholding is not known because most of the properties connected to him are owned via offshore companies in the tax havens of Guernsey and Jersey. That raises familiar questions about the secretive nature of large amounts of property ownership in Britain, and whether it is structured in ways to avoid paying UK taxes when the properties are sold.