Mohammed Al Fayed and Harrods – An Apology

An Article entitled “Dubai’s Harrods shopping spree?” appeared on our website on 13 August. The Article alleged that Mr Mohamed Al Fayed reportedly had been looking to sell either the whole Harrods store, or to relinquish part of his holding, that Dubai Holdings had come up as a possible suitor and that inquiries were at an early stage.

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By  Ben Dawson Published  September 24, 2006

|~||~||~|An Article entitled “Dubai’s Harrods shopping spree?” appeared on our website on 13 August. The Article alleged that Mr Mohamed Al Fayed reportedly had been looking to sell either the whole Harrods store, or to relinquish part of his holding, that Dubai Holdings had come up as a possible suitor and that inquiries were at an early stage. That report was incorrect. We understand that Mr Al Fayed is not looking to sell all or a part of Harrods and accordingly any suggestions to the contrary are untrue. Harrods confirms, and we accept, that no such inquiries were made. We apologise to Mr Al Fayed and Harrods for our earlier incorrect report and we are pleased to take this opportunity of correcting it. Tesco's next? As we report elsewhere in the magazine, Mohammed Alshaya is planning to open 400 new stores in the Middle East this year. But they will not all be in clothing. The next “big” deal will be in food retailing, and the guessing game is already on as to who it will be. Word has already spread of a deal with Marks & Spencer, but my spies tell me that Alshaya is looking at ways to bring the massively successful Tesco brand to the Gulf, beginning in the UAE. When I asked him, he replied with a quick “I couldn’t possibly tell you.” Of course he can’t. Ride on I can exclusively reveal that the long-awaited charity bike journey to Africa is finally happening. Five men with motorbikes, a satellite phone and first aid kit are getting ready to take off from Dubai on October 2nd venturing into Oman, passing through Yemen then taking a boat to Djibouti and continuing on motorbikes to Ethiopia finishing the first part of the trip in Addis Ababa. Ambrose Blaine, an Emirates Airline pilot and close friend, John Kelly, MD of Kelly Steel are being in the project. The group, also including Kimmo Pentalla (Emirates Airline pilot), Peter Convery (CEO of Maritime Industrial Services), Jim Quirke (Managing Director of Quirke International). It is a fantastic effort to raise money, more details of which can be found at the website www.aroundafrika.com. However, avoiding the mistake of previous similar endeavors such as the ‘The Long Way Around’ trip, in which the entire trip costs were deducted from the amount of money raised for charity, the group of five are managing expenses from their own pockets while inviting sponsors to donate. “We are saying to sponsors like Gecko who are preparing our motorbikes, Thuraya who are getting our satellite phone off, and ICON who are supplying our spare parts and BMW that we pay for everything and set up a website with their logos while asking them to make donations to the charity,” says Blaine. They are hoping to raise several hundred thousands of dollars for a very good cause. Good luck to them. I’ll be giving regular updates on their progress – and hope readers check out the website. ||**||

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