A Saudi Sheikh is reportedly involved in a feud over a £2 million outstanding debt to the iconic Les Ambassadeurs Club.
Sheikh Al Balawi Has a £2 Million Debt to Iconic Mayfair Casino
Sheikh Salah Hamdan Al Balawi is allegedly involved in a gambling debt with a private London casino. The sheik’s assets are estimated at more than £100 million, while the alleged debt is only £2 million. According to UK news outlets, Sheik Al Balawi owns debt to the iconic Les Ambassadeurs Club.
The Mayfair members-only casino was actually featured in the James Bond Movie “Dr. No” back in 1962. A few of the scenes from the legendary movie were shot at Les Ambassadeurs Club. One simply cannot miss mentioning the colossus Sean Connery, who was playing the lead role of James Bond.
Steering back to the Sheikh Al Balawi’s debt, the casino went to court in order to receive the alleged £2 million gambling debt. On Friday last week, the UK High Court ruled to lift the freeze order which was imposed on the assets of the Sheikh in the country. Clive Freedman, also known has MrJustice Freedman, was the judge overseeing the dispute and ruled to lift the freeze order.
Freedman backed this up by pointing out that Mr Al Balawi had significant ties in London and even owns a high-profile mansion in the city. Furthermore, the judge pointed out that a £2 million gambling debt is not likely to be a reason for the Sheikh to try and shift assets from the UK to Saudi Arabia.
The Position of the Les Ambassadeurs Club
Keeping in mind the High Court’s ruling, the private London club is not really happy with the outcome. Commenting on the subject the casino noted: “Despite a promise of payment from Mr Al Balawi it never materializes and he ultimately goes to ground.” The main concern of the private casino is that if Mr Al Balawi returns to Saudi Arabia, this debt can never be settled, considering that the laws there cannot enforce the debt to be repaid.
The recent feud for the gambling debt actually raises questions as Mr Al Balawi is a long term-member of the pristine casino. He joined back in 1993 and as a regular member with quite a hefty wallet, it is said that the Sheikh purchased some £14 million in gaming chips. Furthermore, his losses are estimated at around £5 million.
But Who is Sheikh Al Balawi?
Sheikh Salah Hamdan Al Balawi is 52 and he owns SAB-Holding Group. His company owns investments in multiple industries such as real estate, logistics, communications, construction, luxurious merchandise and more. This company made him a fortune. The Sheikh’s SAB Ventures company actually owns a £45 million mansion in Carlton House Terrace, London, purchased back in 2017.
Looking at the company’s web site, SAB Holding points out: “We are the investment partner of choice for international brands, and a means for new entrepreneurs who are looking for capital and business expertise, so they can develop their ideas in the manner they desire, thanks to our investment in high quality commercial property development, luxury retail, and distribution services.” Furthermore, the partnerships of Mr Al Belawi include the industry giants such as: Newscorp, Microsoft, Intel, B&B Italia and many more including major media partners.