Dubai prince plans four helipads at Highland estate

Inverinate Lodge, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, on the shores of Loch Duich in Wester Ross. Picture: Hemedia
Inverinate Lodge, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, on the shores of Loch Duich in Wester Ross. Picture: Hemedia
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THE billionaire ruler of Dubai is seeking to build four helicopter landing pads on his remote Highland estate.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum wants the helipads to allow corporate and private guests to be flown straight into the 63,000-acre Inverinate Estate in Lochalsh.

The landing zones are proposed to be located within the walled gardens of the lavish estate, which overlooks Eilean Donan Castle.

The plans for the 65sq-ft helipads have been lodged with Highland Council by KJ Architects of Newmarket.

A design statement with the application states: “Helicopter has been selected as the most appropriate form of transport given the site’s remote location.

“The isolated nature of the site will ensure no resident properties will be affected by noise by arrivals/departures. The nearest neighbour is a significant ­distance from the site.”

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It adds: “It is worth noting that use of the site by helicopter is not a new activity and that to date, there has been no adverse impacts recorded by residential properties in the wider surrounding area.

“The exact design will be confirmed at a later date following detailed specialist advice.”

As the helipads are not for commercial use, an “H” sign will not be required. Instead, a yellow painted circle will be provided.

To the north of the garden, next to the existing garden machinery store, a new six-metre-wide access will be provided through the wall for emergency access.

The 66-year-old sheikh, a well-known horse breeder, has a number of wives and more than 20 children.

He bought the estate more than 30 years ago for a reputed £2 million. His family visit every year in the summer. The present Inverinate House was built in 1929 to replace a rebuild, constructed following a fire in 1864.

Last year the local authority approved plans for a new 16-bedroom mansion, including a swimming pool and gym.

The Crown Prince became prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates in 2006. He was privately tutored before beginning his formal education, eventually attending the Bell School of Languages at Cambridge University.

In 1995, he began overseeing the transformation of desert land into the world’s most luxurious resort and business destination. He helped develop the Palm Islands, the Burj al-Arab hotel, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the Dubai World Cup and the Godolphin Stables.

The ruler of Dubai also has a love of hunting, shooting and camel racing.

With a personal net worth estimated at over $4 billion, Sheikh Mohammed is also known for his charity work, with a particular interest in literacy and cultural outreach.

Sheikh Mohammed is also known to expats as Sheikh Mo. He married his first wife, Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, in 1979. His junior wife is Princess Haya bint Al-Hussein, daughter of Hussein of Jordan.