Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed who died earlier this week aged 94 has been buried after a funeral at a London mosque alongside his son Dodi Al Fayed, the boyfriend of Princess Diana who was killed alongside her in a Paris car crash 26 years ago.
Al Fayed’s UK-based family announced his death on Friday, saying the businessman had passed away peacefully of old age on August 30.
The former owner of London’s iconic Harrods retail store had remained largely out of the limelight in the past few years while based at his mansion in Surrey with his wife Heini.
"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,” the family statement read.
"He enjoyed a long and fulfilled retirement surrounded by his loved ones," it said.
According to The Times newspaper, an Islamic funeral was held at the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park before he was laid to rest at the family mausoleum on Friday.
The Egypt-born billionaire also owned Fulham football club for 16 years alongside other high-profile business interests such as the Ritz hotel in Paris.
“The story of Fulham cannot be told without a chapter on the positive impact of Mr Al Fayed as Chairman. His legacy will be remembered for our promotion to the Premier League, a Europa League Final, and moments of magic by players and teams alike,” said Al Fayed’s successor Shahid Khan in a statement on behalf of the Fulham Football Club.
“I always enjoyed my time with Mr Al Fayed, who was wise, colourful and committed to Fulham, and I am forever grateful for his trust in me to succeed him as Chairman in 2013.
"I join our supporters around the world in celebrating the memory of Mohamed Al Fayed, whose legacy will always be at the heart of our tradition at Fulham Football Club,” he said.
Al Fayed purchased Fulham in 1997 and announced his intention to reach the Premier League within five years. The club achieved the feat in four years’ time.
After Dodi and Diana, then Princess of Wales, were killed in the car crash on August 31, 1997, Al Fayed's life took a different turn as he openly blamed the royal family and shared his conspiracy theories that the security services had orchestrated the tragedy.
Al Fayed rose from selling fizzy drinks on the streets of his native Alexandria in Egypt to become a big name in business.
He built his business empire in the Middle East before relocating to the UK in the 1970s.
However, his dream to gain British citizenship was never realised even as he continued to question the circumstances surrounding the car crash that killed his beloved son who was dating a divorced Princess Diana at the time.
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