Billionaire Sheikh Facing Charges Of “Reckless Extravagance” Including Filling Mansion’s Water Tanks With Imported Evian Water

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan is the emir of Abu Dhabi. He faces charges before a British High Court for “reckless extravagance or wasteful use of res”. Of course, the British have a more sophisticated term for it – debauchery. One of the most absurd things the Sheikh has been accused of is importing water from Evian from France to fill the water tanks of his $ 75 million mansion. The global file concerns its 6.82 billion dollars real estate empire in London. He owns a number of homes, including Ascot Place, a mansion near Windsor Great Park that the Sheikh bought in 1989 for a record $ 22 million. This house is now worth almost $ 74.4 million. He also owns Ham Gate in southwest London, a $ 6.2 million property he never lived in, as it was too small for all of his staff. The Sheikh is the President of the United Arab Emirates. He has spent millions in homes in England, France and Spain which he rarely visits.

All these revelations surfaced in the legal battle between the leaders of a set of companies registered in the British Virgin Islands called Lancer and Berkeley Square Holdings, whose owner is none other than Sheikh Khalifa. The Abu Dhabi royal family have employed Lancer and Berkeley as a property management company for 16 years. The Panama Papers’ leak in 2016 revealed that they were one of the largest offshore real estate empires in England. The Court found that Sheikh Khalifa’s companies own at least 140 properties in London worth almost $ 7 billion.

billionaire sheikh facing charges of "reckless extravagance" including filling mansion's water tanks with imported evian water

KARIM JAAFAR / AFP via Getty Images

Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has a net worth of $ 18 billion. After the death of his father, he succeeded the post of emir of Abu Dhabi, becoming the president of the United Arab Emirates the next day, November 3, 2004. As a former crown prince, he had effectively served as president earlier (since the late 90s) because his father was in poor health. Khalifa is also president of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Sheikh Khalifa is known for his interest in traditional sports in the United Arab Emirates, including horse and camel racing. He is generally considered a pro-Western modernizer. In January 2014, Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke and is reported to have had surgery, but is reported to be in stable condition.

The sheikh had a stroke in 2014 and has largely withdrawn from public life. Her brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed, is in charge of current affairs in Abu Dhabi. Lancer and Berkeley Square Holdings were terminated in 2017 and replaced by Abu Dhabi-based Astrea Asset Management. This led to a dispute which should now be heard by the High Court of Great Britain. The Sheikh’s lawyers accused Lancer of fraud, alleging that the company’s fees were excessive. The sheikh alleged that Lancer had pocketed nearly $ 40 million from his excessive fees. Meanwhile, Lancer’s counter-lawsuit alleges that the sheikh owes $ 14 million in unpaid fees. The trial is scheduled for May 2021.

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