Mohamed Al Fayed has sold Harrods to the Qatari royal family for around £1.5bn.

A deal was reportedly agreed overnight, and is due to be confirmed in a formal announcement later today. Egyptian tycoon Al Fayed has owned the Knightsbridge landmark for 25 years since buying it in 1985.

There were reports in March that the Qataris had approached Al Fayed about buying the store, but at the time he said he did not intend to sell.

Harrods, run day to day by managing director Michael Ward, has fared well during the recession, with its super-rich customer base from around the world continuing to spend despite the downturn.