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Spendthrift Moroccan King Buys 94 Million Dollar Mansion

eastnews.co.ug

Credit BBC

King Mohammed with wife Lalla Salma

The King of Morocco has reportedly forked out $94m (£72m) for a mansion house in the French capital, Paris, bought directly from its previous owners, the Saudi royal family.

 

Located close to the world-famous Eiffel Tower, the property boasts 12 bedrooms, a swimming pool, a games room, a private garden and private parking.

 

King Mohammed VI is one of the world’s richest monarchs, with an estimated personal fortune 10 times higher than that of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

 

His purchase comes a time when Morocco’s economy has shrunk 6% because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The king announced in August that 120bn dirhams ($32bn; £25bn) would be injected into the economy in response.

The palace was built in 1912 and is located at 20 Avenue Émile Deschanel. From there to the Eiffel Tower it takes nine minutes on foot, according to Google Maps. To the national palace of the Invalides, thirteen minutes walk. It would take fourteen minutes to walk to the Louvre Museum and 22 to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

 

When he travels to France for private reasons, Mohamed VI usually stays in his castle in Betz, a municipality of only 1,200 inhabitants located 60 kilometers northeast of the French capital. The castle, which sits on 70 hectares (equivalent to 70 football fields) was bought by his father, Hassan II, in 1972.

The discretion enjoyed by the monarch in Betz is absolute. The king of Morocco also usually spends a good part of his holidays at sea. In 2019 the monarch bought the Badis 1 , one of the ten largest sailing yachts in the world , measuring 70 meters long by 13 meters wide, as published by the Moroccan weekly Telquel . The amount of the purchase also remains secret, although its previous owner, the American Bill Duker, said he had spent between 60 and 90 million euros on the boat.

Among the great hobbies of the monarch are also watches. In 2018 at least a couple of Moroccan media – Yabiladi and Le Desk – reproduced a photo where Mohamed VI was seen with a watch from the Nautilus collection, belonging to the Swiss brand Patek Philippe. The watch is a jewel in itself, made of white gold and encrusted with 1,075 diamonds. Its price has not transpired, although estimates range between half a million and a million euros.

 

In 2016, when dozens of dignitaries offered US President Barak Obama a gift on the occasion of his last year as president of the United States , Mohamed VI provided the most expensive gifts. He gave Obama various jewelry, as well as a watch set with diamonds and emeralds.

 

 

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