What will happen to Mohamed Al Fayed’s £1.7bn fortune? Tycoon's inheritance undecided after ‘sibling power struggle’

3 September 2023, 17:10 | Updated: 3 September 2023, 18:10

Questions remain about the future of Mohamed Al Fayed's inheritance.
Questions remain about the future of Mohamed Al Fayed's inheritance. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The future of Moham Al Fayed's inheritance is yet to be decided as the billionaire tycoon leaves behind four children.

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Mohamed Al Fayed, the former owner of Harrods and Fulham football club passed away on Wednesday, with the news only confirmed by his family on Friday.

The businessman was once reputed to be among the world's richest men, and his net worth stood at over £1 billion at his time of death.

He is survived by four children, meaning his inheritance will now need to be distributed between them and his second wife, Heini Wathen, according to reports.

It is thought Mr Al Fayed still had a vast number of assets before his death, including the Paris Ritz Hotel and a mansion in Surrey.

But as a number of these are held through trusts and in tax havens, it is difficult to calculate the exact amount.

Mr Al Fayed had his four children with Wathen, 68, from his second marriage.

His children are Jasmine, 42, Karim, 39, Camilla, 38, and Omar, 35 - but it seems the latter two have been caught up in conflicts over the years, leading to questions about how the inheritance may be distributed.

Read more: Mohamed Al-Fayed buried next to son on family estate almost 26 years after Dodi died in car crash with Princess Diana

Read more: Mohamed Al-Fayed dies, with ex-Harrods and Fulham owner passing away 26 years after son's fatal crash with Diana

Mohamed Al Fayed died on Wednesday.
Mohamed Al Fayed died on Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

Documents from the High Court show there was an argument between the two and Wathen at their father’s estate in Surrey during the 2020 first lockdown.

A “physical altercation” between Omar and Camilla’s husband was also alleged to have taken place, the MailOnline reported.

Omar was claiming £100,000 in damages for what he alleged was an assault planned by Camilla and her husband, Mohamed Esreb.

The pair denied the allegations and then laid out their own accusations against Omar, including claims that he was a heavy drug user, which he also denied.

A number of claims and counter-claims were also made in the High Court.

They were ordered by the judge to settle the case privately, and the outcome was not publicised.

In a previous interview with the Daily Mail, Omar denied the accusations against him and claimed he was the victim of a “sibling power struggle”.

"It’s quite a common drama where there are families with an elder leader figure who is in his winter period of life," he said.

"I’m not vying for top-dog position. I am really seeking to encourage harmony."

Mohamed Al Fayed with his children at a film premiere.
Mohamed Al Fayed with his children at a film premiere. Picture: Getty

But following the disputes between the pair in recent years, the question of who will receive which of Mr Al Fayed's assets remains.

Luxury apartments in London’s Park Lane, New York’s Manhattan, nine Rolls-Royce cars and an art collection were all believed to be part of Mr Al Fayed’s assets during periods of his life.

However, it is not known exactly how many of these he held on to.

His Oxted, Surrey mansion has an estimated value of £100m, and his Paris Ritz Hotel £500m.

Egyptian-born Mr Al Fayed was an outspoken businessman whose son Dodi became the lover of Princess Diana. Dodi died along with Diana in a car crash in Paris in 1997, which Mr Al Fayed blamed on the royal family for years.

In a statement released by Fulham on Friday, 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."

Mr Al Fayed has been buried alongside Dodi on their Surrey estate.