by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
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UAE President, Abu Dhabi emir

Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

British Virgin Islands companies used to buy luxury real estate and other properties

Related to  United Arab Emirates
Data from: Panama Papers
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s wealthiest men. Sheikh Khalifa built a seven-story mountain-top palace in the Seychelles while pledging more than $130 million in aid to the island nation. His record-setting $150 million gift to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center created a state-of-the-art cancer care building named for his father. He also bankrolled construction of a cardiovascular-critical care tower at Maryland’s Johns Hopkins Hospital and built himself the world’s biggest yacht, replete with helipads, pools, a disco and a sprawling French-designed salon. In Dubai, the world’s tallest building, named Burj Khalifa in honor of the sheikh, is a symbol of his effort to diversify UAE’s oil-based economy.

In the data

Sheikh Khalifa was the beneficial owner of at least 30 companies established in the British Virgin Islands by Mossack Fonseca, through which he held commercial and residential properties in pricey areas of London such as Kensington and Mayfair, worth at least $1.7 billion. The Sheikh financed his acquisitions through loans from the London branch of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Until 2007, Mossack Fonseca provided companies that acted as directors and shareholders of the Sheikh's BVI companies. By December 2015, nearly all the shares in those companies were held by Mossack Fonseca through trust structures, but the true beneficiary remained the Sheikh, as well as his wife, son and daughter. In 2011 Mossack Fonseca wrote that the law firm handling Sheikh Al Nahyan's affairs was "usually hesitant" in providing information about his identity.


A UK law firm representing Al Nahyan, contacted by phone, said it was "unable to help" with comments.
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