London shopping mecca, Harrods. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Now that's what we call a retirement fund.

Tycoon Mohammed Al Fayed is $2.3 billion richer after selling famed London department store Harrods upon his retirement, BBC News reports.

The (ridiculously rich) buyers? None other than the Qatari royal family.

(What? Couldn't the queen cough up the change?)

"In reaching the decision to retire, he [Al Fayed] wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued, and that the team that he has built up would be encouraged to develop the foundations that he has laid," adviser Ken Costa told the news service of the deal.

Though Costa reportedly added that Al Fayed was retiring to spend more time with his children and grandchildren (his son Dodi was killed in a car crash with girlfriend Princess Diana in 1997), he will stay on as an honorary chairman. But first, a Scrooge McDuck-style gold coin cannonball dive.

The sprawling, one-million-square-foot-plus department store opened in 1849 and is home to luxury goods, food stalls and an assortment of unique finds.

Its new owner, Qatar Holdings, the royal family's investment branch, also reportedly owns a stake in Porsche and is the third-largest shareholder of VW.

"It's a historical place," chairman Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani (aka the prime minister of Qatar) told the BBC.

"I know it's important, not only for the British people but it is important for the tourism."

Guilty as charged. Let's just hope they don't jack up the prices to help cover the $2.3 billion hole in their pocket -- the exchange rate is brutal enough, thanks!

by Erin Donnelly

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