Kashoggi with reporters at a party in 1997
Kashoggi with reporters at a party in 1997 / Josele-Lanza

Adnan Khashoggi, once king of the Marbella jet set, has died in London

  • The former billionaire had suffered a stroke

In the 1980s Adnan Khashoggi was considered the king of the Marbella jet set and the lavish parties he threw at his residence in Benahavís and on board his megayacht ‘Nabila’ were legendary, but his departure from the town bore none of the glamour of those golden years.

The enormous 900-hectare estate on which he had built his home was embargoed by three banks; it was eventually acquired by a group of Spanish, Swiss, German and American investors and is now the prestigious La Zagaleta residential development, which is considered the most luxurious in Europe.

His yacht did not fare much better. It too was eventually sold and, after being used in the James Bond film Never Say Never, was bought by Donald Trump.

Khashoggi was born in Mecca in 1935 and became a billionaire at an early age after seeing an opportunity as an arms dealer in the conflicts in the Middle East.

Thanks to his contacts, he was able to act as an intermediary between weapons manufacturers in the west and governments in the region, but his downfall came when he was jailed for money laundering. He retired to Riyadh, but spent time in different European cities until last year, when he suffered a stroke. He died in London on Tuesday.