Mohamed Al Fayed - Balnagown Highland Estate Luxury Retreats

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Mohamed Al Fayed

Mohamed Al Fayed is one of the world’s most recognised and respected entrepreneurs. He was born in 1933 in Alexandria, Egypt where his father was a professor of Arabic, and his grandfather was a merchant; it was at his knee that Mohamed first learned the rules of being a successful businessman.

Mohamed’s connection with Balnagown began as a boyhood fascination after a tutor taught him that the Egyptians discovered Scotland – as outlandish as it might sound there is good documentary evidence to suggest this might be the case. From that moment forward he was entranced by the myths and legends of Scotland and with the idea that one day he would visit the Highlands.

When a business trip took him to Scotland in the early 1970s, Mohamed chanced upon the dilapidated façade of the Balnagown Estate. Despite its appearance he was besotted and a short while later learned that the Estate was up for sale. He immediately capitalised on this serendipitous intervention of fate, made an offer and within a week the Estate was his. And so began the painstaking restoration of both the Castle and the Estate.

In a bid to preserve not only the buildings and lands but also the heritage of Balnagown, Mr Al Fayed commissioned research to determine the original Ross tartan, which he then subtly altered, creating a weave which truly celebrates the melding of Egyptian and Scottish history.

Mohamed Al Fayed’s unremitting passion for Balnagown has created a world-class venue in one of the most unspoilt and majestic wildernesses on earth and his sensitive restoration has bequeathed to the world a preservation of an important part of Scotland’s history.