Mohamed Al-Fayed, 90, steps down as chairman of Ritz hotel in Paris – where Princess Diana and his son Dodi set off from on the night of their fatal crash
- Fayed, 90, bought the hotel in 1979 and has stepped down from the board
- His family insist they will still retain ownership of the central Paris establishment
- His son Dodi and Diana set off from the Ritz on the night of their crash in 1997
Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed has announced he is stepping down as chairman at the Ritz hotel in Paris.
The businessman bought the landmark hotel in 1979 and will retain ownership of the establishment despite removing himself from the board of directors.
Fayed’s son Dodi and Princess Diana set off from the Ritz on the night they were both killed in a Parisian car crash in 1997.
It is unclear why Fayed has decided to step away from the business, but the 90-year-old now leaves the hotel in the hands of its directors.
Mohamed Al-Fayed bought the famous hotel in Paris back in 1979 and has ended his 40 year tenure as chairman
The hotel, pictured on the day of Diana’s death, was the place Fayed’s son Dodi and the Princess of Wales set off from before their crash
His wife Heini Wathen and son Omar have also reportedly stepped down from the board.
A spokesperson for the Ritz Paris told MailOnline: ‘After decades of continuous involvement, Mr Al-Fayed has decided it was time to pass his duties as chairman on.’
But a spokesman insisted the family ‘retain full ownership’.
Diana and Dodi died on August 31, 1997, along with driver Henri Paul, who was the Ritz’s acting head of security, while they were being chased by paparazzi.
Mr Al-Fayed believes the couple would have married, and has previously stated that they were murdered.
He famously bought Harrods in London six years after the Ritz, selling it in 2010 for a reported £1.5billion.
The Ritz in London is owned by another firm.
Diana, Princess of Wales with Dodi Fayed inside the Ritz Hotel on the night of their deaths in 1997