Entrepreneur who introduced fish and chips to Middle East sues Saudi royal family over unpaid debts

Charles Hymas
·2 min read
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

A British entrepreneur who introduced fish and chips to the Middle East is taking Saudi royal family members to the High Court, claiming their failure to honour a deal left him facing jail.

Gary Arnold, 50, was arrested in Dubai this week over unpaid debts, which he blames on the failure of the Saudi royals to keep their part of a deal to buy out his business.

Mr Arnold’s lawyer, Toby Cadman, said that his client faced eight charges for unpaid debts from creditors to the company – including one that carries a two year jail sentence. Mr Cadman said he would file an application in the High Court to have a judgment in Mr Arnold’s favour in Saudi applied in the UK.

The dispute has left Mr Arnold facing financial ruin.

Mr Arnold and his lawyers said he and his business partners have not received money agreed in 2017 when their firm London Business Group was bought by the Saudis’ family company, Harbor Holdings-Himmah Foods. They said the Saudi company breached a legally binding deal to buy out their share of the business, which had 36 branches in the Middle East.

A Saudi court ordered Harbor Holdings to pay him 5,087,500 riyals (£1,032,435). The move has pitted Mr Arnold and his partners against a high-profile family, central to which is Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, the chairman of Harbor Holdings.

Two other royals, ex-chairman Prince Khalid bin Bandar al Saud, Saudi ambassador to the UK, and its co-founder Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud, Saudi ambassador to the US, are linked to the company but deny any involvement in the fish and chip deal.

Prince Faisal has been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.