Wax statue of Mohamed Fayed
|Born||Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed
January 27, 1933
Owner of Harrods and Fulham football club
|Spouse(s)||Samira Khashoggi (m. 1954–1956)
Heini Wathén (1985-present)
Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed (Arabic: محمد عبد المنعم فايد) (born 1933) is an Egyptian businessman. Amongst his business interests are ownership of Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, London and the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club.
He has two brothers; Ali Fayed and Salah Fayed. Since 1985 he has been married to Finnish socialite and former model Heini Wathén. Together they have four children and two grandchildren. A fifth child, Dodi Fayed, from Fayed's first marriage, died in a car crash in Paris in on 31 August 1997 along with his companion Diana, Princess of Wales and Henri Paul, the driver of the car and employee of the Fayed-owned Hôtel Ritz Paris.
Born in Bakos (باكوس), Alexandria, Egypt, as the eldest son of an Egyptian primary school teacher, Fayed's first entrepreneurial venture began at school where he sold homemade lemonade.
He was married for two years, from 1954 to 1956, to Samira Kashoggi. Fayed and his brothers founded a shipping company in Egypt before moving its headquarters to Genoa, Italy with additional offices in London. It was then that Fayed moved to England where he lived in central London.
In the mid 1960s, Fayed met the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid al Makhtoum who entrusted Fayed with helping transform Dubai. Fayed introduced British companies like Richard Costain (which he became a director and 30 percent shareholder of), Bernard Sunley and Taylor Woodrow to the Emirate to carry out the required construction work. He also became a financial adviser to the then Sultan of Brunei Omar Ali Saifuddien III, in 1966.
Fayed set up IMS (International Marine Services) in 1968 Dubai.
He became resident in Britain in 1974 and added the Al- to his name, earning the Private Eye nickname "the Phoney Pharaoh". He briefly joined the board of the mining conglomerate Lonrho in 1975 but left after a disagreement.
In 1979, Fayed bought The Ritz hotel in Paris, France and is thought to have spent $500,000 per room restoring it. The French government awarded him the Medaille de Paris and made him a Chevalier in the Légion d'honneur. He later restored the Villa Windsor in the Bois de Boulogne. The French government promoted to an Officier in the Légion d'honneur and in 1989 awarded him the rare Grande Plaque de Paris.
In 1985, he and his brother Ali bought the rest of House of Fraser for £615m. The Harrods deal was made under the nose of Roland 'Tiny' Rowland, the head of Lonrho. Rowland had been seeking to buy Harrods and took the Fayed brothers to a Department of Trade inquiry.
In 1985, he and his brothers bought the remaining 70 percent of House of Fraser, a move that angered Rowland who had been seeking to buy Harrods. Rowland took the Fayed brothers to a Department of Trade inquiry. The inquiry, involving one of the most bitter feuds in British business history, issued a 1990 report stating that the Fayed brothers had lied about their background and wealth. The bickering with Rowland continued when he accused them of stealing millions in jewels from his Harrods safe deposit box. The pair made peace in 1992. Rowland died in 1998, and, without accepting responsibility, Fayed settled the dispute with a payment to his widow. (Fayed had been arrested during the dispute and sued the Metropolitan Police for false arrest in 2002. He lost the case.)
Also in 1985, he married Wathén, his second wife.
He set up the Al Fayed Charitable Foundation in 1987 that aims to help children with life-limiting conditions and children living in poverty.
In 1994, House of Fraser went public, but Fayed retained private ownership of Harrods.
He relaunched the humour publication Punch in 1996 but it folded again in 2002.
For years, Fayed unsuccessfully sought British citizenship. Both Labour and Conservative Home Secretaries rejected his applications. It has been suggested that the feud with Rowland contributed to Fayed's being refused British citizenship the first time.
Mohamed Fayed was involved in the cash-for-questions affair, having offered money for questions in the commons to the Conservative MPs Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith. Both left the government in disgrace. Fayed also revealed that the cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken had stayed for free at the Ritz Hotel in Paris at the same time as a group of Saudi arms dealers leading to Aitken's subsequent unsuccessful libel case and imprisonment for perjury. During this period Fayed was represented publicly by public relations expert and former BBC journalist Michael Cole.
In 1997 Fayed bought Fulham Football Club.
In 2003, Fayed moved from Surrey, UK to Switzerland, alleging a breach in an agreement with Inland Revenue. In 2005, he moved back to Britain, saying that he "regards Britain as home".However, he spend a considerable amount of time in the year in Monaco and has done for over forty years. He moors a yacht there called the Sokar.
Fayed's oldest son, Dodi Fayed, was romantically involved with Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. Both of them died in a Paris car crash on 31 August 1997. Fayed believed that the driver, Henri Paul, had plotted with the Royal Family to kill Diana and Dodi. On 2 October 2007, the Coronor's Inquest was held in London.
His testimony was roundly condemned in the press as being farcical and led to members of the British Government's Intelligence and Security Committee including George Foulkes, Baron Foulkes of Cumnock and Dari Taylor to accuse him of turning the Inquest into a 'circus' and calls for it to be ended prematurely. The inquest lasted six months and ruled that Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed by Paul and the paparazzi photographers.
Fayed bought Second Division (equivalent to modern Football League One) Fulham F.C. from chairman Jimmy Hill in the summer of 1997. His initial, ambitious long-term aim was that Fulham would become a FA Premier League side within five years. To this end he installed the managerial "dream team" of Ray Wilkins and Kevin Keegan, which resulted in the sacking of Micky Adams, who had guided Fulham to promotion from the then named Third Division.
Fulham stormed to the Second Division title with a record 101 points in 1999. Kevin Keegan was appointed manager of England at this time. In 2001, Fulham took the First Division (now Football League Championship) under manager Jean Tigana, winning 100 points and scoring over 100 goals in the season. This meant that Fayed had achieved his objective of Fulham being a Premiership club a year ahead of schedule. Also, by 2002, Fulham were competing in European football, winning the Intertoto Cup and challenging in the UEFA Cup.
Fayed stated that he wanted Fulham to become the "Manchester United of the South", referring to United's status as one of the biggest clubs in the world.
On 5 May 2007, Fayed celebrated his 10th year with Fulham. This was marked by a 1-0 win over Liverpool, which ensured that the club retained their Premiership status for another season.
Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed (Arabic: محمد الفايد) (born January 27, 1929) is an Egyptian-born businessman, who is the owner of Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, the English Premiership football team. Fulham Football Club and other business interests. He is an outspoken and often brash figure, who has made several controversial remarks.