LONDON: Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed has sold luxury London department store Harrods to Qatar Holding, the Gulf royal family's investment arm, Mr. Al Fayed's advisors Lazard said on Saturday.

Media reports suggest Mr. Al Fayed, who also owns Fulham football club, sold the store for £1.5 billion ($2.2 billion dollars).

Mr. Al Fayed is retiring after 25 years as chairman of Harrods to spend more time with his children and grand-children and believed Qatar Holdings would continue to promote it as a luxury brand, the statement said.

His son Dodi was killed in the 1997 Paris car crash that killed Princess Diana, and he spent 10 years trying unsuccessfully to prove their death was not an accident. A shrine to the couple remains in Harrods.

Mr. Al Fayed and his brothers bought a 30 per cent stake in the House of Fraser group, which owned Harrods at the time, in 1983, and a year later bought the remaining shares in a bitter multi-million-pound takeover battle.

Qatar Holding, only the fifth owner of Harrods since its creation in 1840, was specifically chosen by the trust as they had both the vision and financial capacity to support the long term successful growth of Harrods, the statement said. — AFP