Harrods, the world-famous luxury, department store is not up for sale, said its Egyptian owner Mohamed Al-Fayed. The tycoon said: “People approach us from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar. Fair enough, but I put two fingers up to them all. It is not for sale. This is not Marks & Spencer or Sainsbury. It is a special place that gives people pleasure. There is only one Mecca.”

It is the first time the owner of Fulham football club has broken his silence since reports emerged that Fayed had received an unsolicited approach from a Gulf-based investor. City sources familiar with Qatar Holding, which invests on behalf of the state’s royal family, confirmed they had looked over the business but insisted that talks never reached an advanced stage. Fayed said he planned to own the business for the rest of his life and hoped to be mummified when he died and buried in a mausoleum on the roof of the store in London’s Knightsbridge.

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