Home » Qatar ‘reviewing London investments’ after TfL bans its adverts, reports

Qatar ‘reviewing London investments’ after TfL bans its adverts, reports

by WorldFinance
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Qatar is reviewing its investments in London after its advertisements were banned from the capital’s buses, taxies and Tube network, according to reports.

In 2019, Sadiq Khan called for Transport for London (TfL) to review how it treats advertisement slots from countries with poor human rights records.

This led to a ban on all new advertisements from countries such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran and Nigeria that year.

TfL has since banned all adverts from Qatar following international backlash due to its treatment of migrant workers and its stance LGBT+ rights, the Financial Times reports.

The move to remove all adverts from Qatar came following international criticism after England and other European teams were prevented from wearing armbands in support of the LGBT+ community at the World Cup.

Following TfL’s decision, the state is now “reviewing their current and future investments” in London and was “considering investment opportunities in other UK cities and home nations”, an official involved in the review told the newspaper.

The source added that the TfL ban “has been interpreted as a message from the mayor’s office that Qatari business is not welcome in London”.

The Gulf state has become one of the biggest investors in London through its sovereign wealth fund.

It is believed to be the tenth largest landowner in the UK, according to analysts at MSCI Real Assets.

Among the properties in their portfolio are Knightsbridge department store Harrods, and the Shard skyscraper. The sovereign fund also holds a 20 per cent stake in Heathrow airport, worth around £1.3bn..

The Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) holds nearly 15 per cent of Sainsbury’s (£730m), as well as stakes in Severn Water and Shell. It owns seven per cent of the London Stock Exchange, and Chelsea Barracks, the Savoy and Grosvenor House hotels.

The Qatari official involved in the review, accused TfL of “blatant double standards” and “virtue signalling”.

A spokesperson for Khan said the mayor was not involved in day-to-day decisions regarding advertising on the city’s transport network.

A TfL spokesperson said it had provided “advertising partners and brands with further guidance” on acceptable advertising during the World Cup.

Qatar’s media office and the QIA declined to comment.

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