Omani student killed in London was son of business tycoon

Al Raid Group founded by Mohammed Al Araimi's father has extensive operations in Oman

LONDON 26th March 2018. The scene of the attack on an Emirati opposite Harrods in Knightsbridge, London. Stephen Lock for the National   Words: Caroline Byrne
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Mohammed Al Araimi, the young Omani student stabbed to death in London on Friday night, is the son of a prominent businessman in Oman, friends of the family said.

Al Araimi was studying politics and economics at King's College London. He was 20 years old, British police said on Sunday.

His father, Sheikh Abdalla Al Araimi, owns a group of companies under the name of Al Raid Group.

The family comes from the eastern coastal city of Sur, a former seafaring town that expanded Oman’s trade to Africa and India.

"Sheikh Abdalla Al Araimi is a great philanthropist, well-loved and respected in his hometown," a friend of the family told The National.

"He is one of the business pioneers of the country who made good in various businesses."

Al Raid Group, which he established in 1974, is into logistics, property, office leasing and retail.

Its latest enterprise is Al Araimi Boulevard, a mall in Muscat with 220 retail shops, which opened in April this year.

Al Araimi was walking home from a restaurant in London’s Knightsbridge district with a Bahraini friend when they were approached by two men who tried to rob them.

He was chased and stabbed in the back before collapsing under a Christmas tree next to Harrods department store.

He was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene 30 minutes after midnight. His friend, who was also injured, was later released from hospital.

Police have not made any arrests over the attack and are appealing for witnesses and motorists with dash-cams who may have been driving near the scene to contact them.

"The victim and his friend were entirely blameless, simply enjoying a meal out together,” Det Chief Insp Andy Partridge said.

“It does appear that the motive for this cowardly attack was robbery."

Al Araimi was one of three men stabbed to death in London in the space of about 12 hours.

“He was a nice young man, polite and considerate," another family friend said. "He loved sports and the outdoors.

"He was expected to join Al Raid Group after his studies. It is unfortunate this has cut his life short."

He said Al Araimi’s body was expected to be flown home from London on Monday for burial.