TfL has banned the Gulf state’s tourism over the countries anti-gay laws. The ban has reportedly angered Qatari authorities, who have faced strong criticism in the run-up to and during the World Cup including the criminalisation of homosexual relationships. The state’s $450bn (£372bn) sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is one of the capital’s largest property owners, with Harrods, the Shard and the prestigious Savoy and Grosvenor House hotels among the iconic buildings on its portfolio. It is also a co-owner of Canary Wharf and has a 20 per cent stake in Heathrow airport. It has been said that the TfL ban “has been interpreted as a message from the mayor’s office that Qatari business is not welcome in London”.
Is the response acceptable and what does this mean for the future of London?