What do you get the person in your life who already has an entire Olympic Village, the city's largest skyscraper, and 1/30th of all London homes? Holiday shopping is hard and the Qatari Royal Family's insistence on owning literally everything makes it that much harder. To help you out, we've compiled a list of things you should not get the Qatari Royal Family, because we know they already own them.
Let's begin at home. Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, one of the emir's wives and mother to the crown prince, recently bought three adjacent houses for £120M ($191M). The Qatar royal family plans on combining three properties into one megamansion: 1, 2 and 3 Cornwall Terrace, which were designed by Decimus Burton, famous as the protégé of John Nash, Buckingham Palace's architect. Qatar's royal family currently already owns more property in London than England's royal family, and once completed, their new home is expected to be London's most expensive, with an expected worth of approximately £200M ($313M).
Once the three historic houses are joined into one mega-historic house, one must assume it will battle all other historic houses for a monopoly on the word "Neoclassical." The owner has hired architects to fuse the properties using, according to the Daily Mail, "a series of zones creating a sense of hierarchy." Here are some totally ridiculous things the estate will include:
· A champagne-colored marblefireplace.
· Secret tunnels. (Full disclosure: it's actually just one secret passageway, linking the newly constructed dining room to the study. However, in times like this, it's always better to be a secret tunnel alarmist.)
· A dining room, fully restored to Regency-era grandeur, that seats an intimate party of 16. If this is the dining room that has the aforementioned secret passageway, then all references to the mansion from Clue become fair game.
· Each bathroom cyclically "changes air" thrice an hour, which begs the question: who in the Qatari royal family is a nervous pooper?
· Something called a "wine cave," which is essentially a wine cellar for rich people who don't mess with basements.
· Things that sound like luxury: a fully equipped beauty salon, a spa, massage rooms, and a heated pool.
Photo Courtesy of The Daily Mail
· Italianate gardens that are lit to look like a ballroom.
· An extra-long limousine garage.
· An entire floor devoted the family's children. It includes servants quarters, both a boy's and girl's wing, two entertainment rooms, one nursery, and an elevator connecting it to the rest of the house.
· In other completely unnecessary floor news, the first floor contains a formal seating area and a cigar lounge bordered by a library and three "entertainment rooms."
· The pool and gym are separated by a long glass wall that probably hides the fourth time and space dimension.
· Heated kitchen seats.
· All lights are controlled by an iPad that will, according to the Lifetime channel movie of this house, eventually become sentient.
What are the family's next moves in owning all of London? (1) Buy everything possible for the inside of your home and (2) buy everything possible outside of your home. Their spending spree, which began in 2008, is primarily carried out by mom-and-pop family businesses, like the Qatar Investment Fund and Qatari Dari. Their holdings account for 1 in 30 of all of London's homes. Here are a few "impulse buys:"
· No less than 50 percent of the most expensive apartment block in the world, One Hyde Park.
· Qatari Diar, an arm of the Qatari Royal Family's real estate empire, recently bought London's 2012 Olympic Village. An Olympic Village.
· Chelsea Barracks, a 500-unit luxury housing scheme that spans three blocks andtakes style cues from the great mall revival of the late aughts, has a lot of haters. The Prince of Wales publicly criticized it in 2011 to the emir. He described the project as an "gigantic experiment with the very soul of our capital city" and then suggested architecture in the style of "Bath or 18th-century Edinburgh."
· The largest skyscraper in the EU. It's called The Shard and is something the QRF already has, so they don't need another one. However, they technically only own 95 percent of the famous skyscraper and might appreciate the gift of the rest.
· Finally, the Al Thani family bought famed London department store Harrod's. To add fuel to the (sort of xenophobic and alarmist) fire, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani remarked to the Financial Times that, "Even your Harrod's—we took it." Next stop, the U.S.!
Olympic Village snapped up by Qatari ruling family for £557M [The Guardian]
How much of London is owned by Qatar's royal family? [The Guardian]
Chelsea Barracks project wins approval for first homes [Financial Times]
All Ridiculous Amenity Alert posts [Curbed National]