- Middle East Business News
Tuesday, 11 August 2020 04:44 UAE time
17#  Mahdi Al-Tajir  - picture not available
17# Mahdi Al-Tajir

Net Worth: US$ 4.3 Billion
Country of Residence: United Arab Emirates
Industry: Retail, Real Estate
Companies: Bonhams
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A former UAE ambassador to the UK and France, Mahdi Al Tajir spends much of his time at his palatial London home or on his 15,000-acre Perthshire estate, where he bottles and sells Highland Spring Water.

These days his son Maher Al Tajir runs much of the family's UK ventures, including the mineral water business. Mahdi Al Tajir, who is originally from Bahrain and still enjoys close relations with Dubai's ruling Al Maktoum family, got his start by organising the customs department in Dubai.

Quite legitimately, he received a percentage of the port's gold trade and eventually a piece of every oil lease that was negotiated.

The publicity-shy Al Tajir made headlines in 1990 when an armed gang made off with $10m of antiques from his Buckinghamshire mansion, and a few months later fire caused $100m worth of damage to his property.

In 1997 the mansion was hit by an arson attack, and made the news again in 2006 after Al Tajir was ordered to remove padlocks from the gates of the estate, which he had turned into a fortress. Al Tajir's other businesses are involved in metal trading, oil and gas interests and, inevitably, he has a huge property portfolio. Today, Al Tajir is also known for his extensive collection of antique silver artefacts and carpets. He is the local partner for the Bonham's office in Jumeirah.

Last month, Highland Spring bought Dublin's Greencore Group's bottled water division for $28.5m. The move made the Perthshire firm the largest bottled water supplier in the UK, with 400 staff, five bottling plants, twelve production lines and a capacity of 700 million litres a year.



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