operations and investments
Why the Qatari royal family traveled to Zurich so often
The Qatari royal family stayed in Zurich regularly, and the former emir lived in the city on the Limmat for years. The Qatari sovereign wealth fund still owns shares in CS and famous Swiss hotels today.
Whether for investments or for medical care – the Qataris stayed regularly in Zurich for a long time.
The connection between the Qatari royal family and Zurich goes back well before the 2010 FIFA World Cup was awarded at Fifa headquarters. Whether for bulk shopping or for medical care – the Qataris stay regularly in Switzerland’s largest city. The “NZZ” even describes Zurich as the second home of the royal family.
The former Emir of Qatar, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani (✝84), was particularly fond of Zurich. He lived for years in the city on the Limmat and was occasionally treated at the university hospital. In 2015 he even donated eleven million francs to the Zurich Foundation for Cardiovascular Research. According to the “NZZ”, the Zurich educational institutions had previously established a Qatar connection. In 2005, the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich identified Qatar as an important educational partner.
Flown in after a broken leg
The son of the former emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (70), was also treated in Switzerland. In 2015, he was flown into Zurich in the middle of the night to have an operation after breaking his leg while on vacation in Morocco. The event was followed very effectively by the media at the time.
The Qataris also liked to stay in Zurich hotels. Or just buy them. In 2012, a Qatari group of investors bought and renovated the Hotel Atlantis. The former Emir, who lives in Zurich, should have had his own special suite on the top floor.
However, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani passed away before completion, and Atlantis now belongs to an Indian billionaire. In return, the Bürgenstock resort in Switzerland and the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern still belong to the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.
On board with the CS
The same fund also holds a five percent stake in the crisis bank Credit Suisse. The royal family had long sat on the board of directors.
In recent years, the royal family has been less present. Tourist visits from Qataris have also decreased. Due to the ongoing World Cup, contact with Fifa is currently more active than ever. (lui)