Ex-Afghan officials living in luxury properties

High-end homes contrast with Afghans struggling for housing around the world

National Weekend Edition /
Jun.June 18, 2022 09:00 AM
St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (Marriot, Prime Minister's Office (GODL-India)/GODL-India/via Wikimedia Commons)

St Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (Marriot, Prime Minister’s Office (GODL-India)/GODL-India/via Wikimedia Commons)

As many Afghans who were forced to flee struggle to make a new start overseas, former top government officials can’t relate.

Officials who served under President Ashraf Ghani have landed luxury trappings since leaving the nation, the Wall Street Journal reported. The high-end contrast with overcrowded units that many citizens who fled violence as the U.S. left after spending billions of dollars to prop up the country.

Ghani allegedly took government money when he fled Kabul in mid-August and resettled with his wife in a suite at the five-star St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates said let him into the country on humanitarian grounds.

Hamdullah Mohib, a former national security adviser, also fled to the U.A.E. before Kabul’s collapse, concerned about the safety and the health of his pregnant wife. The U.A.E. paid for the family to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel in Abu Dhabi, also citing humanitarian reasons.

The family has since moved to a four-bedroom home in Florida that’s owned by Mohib’s mother-in-law.

Former finance minister Eklil Hakimi also appears to be living the high life in the U.S. Hakimi bought 10 homes and transferred many to a company in his wife’s name after stepping down. Those homes include a $2.5 million five-bedroom pad in Laguna Niguel, California and a $1.1 million beachfront condo in South Cove, California.

Khalid Payenda, the most recent finance minister in Afghanistan, owns a pair of million-dollar homes in Washington, D.C. Former Vice President Abdul Rashim Dostum lives in an expensive gated community in Ankara, Turkey. Several former officials also live in Dubai.

Dubai became a favorite destination in recent months for Russian billionaires and oligarchs who are being shunned due to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Wealthy Russians who own property in Dubai include fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev, Albert Avdolyan and wife Elena, Andrei Molchanov and Pavel Durov, the 37-year-old founder of messaging app Telegram.

A notable exception to the Afghan officials seemingly living in luxury elsewhere is former President Hamid Karzai, who has been largely left alone by the Taliban after staying behind in his home country.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Carlton Hobbs with 60 East 93rd Street (Getty, Google Maps)
    One of NYC’s widest townhouses sells for $53M
    One of NYC’s widest townhouses sells for $53M
    Kathy Hochul, Samy Nemir Olivares, Lee Zeldin, Nikki Lucas, Keron Alleyne, Erik Dilan (Getty Images, iStock, Nikki Lucas, Keron Alleyne, Samy Nemir Olivares, Facebook)
    Real estate’s election winners and losers
    Real estate’s election winners and losers
    From left: Jon Bon Jovi, CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz and 155 West 11th Street (Getty Images, Compass Real Estate, iStock)
    Ovitz revealed as Bon Jovi’s Greenwich Village condo buyer
    Ovitz revealed as Bon Jovi’s Greenwich Village condo buyer
    From left: Howard Lorber, Bess Freedman, Ryan Serhant, Eddie Shapiro, and Robert Reffkin (Douglas Elliman, SERHANT, Compass, Getty Images, Brown Harris Stevens, iStock)
    Brokerage execs condemn SCOTUS ruling, pledge to cover abortion costs
    Brokerage execs condemn SCOTUS ruling, pledge to cover abortion costs
    From left: CHIP’s Jay Martin; Met Council on Housing’s Kate Ehrenberg (CHIP, Met Council on Housing, iStock)
    Rent stabilization: dysfunctional by design
    Rent stabilization: dysfunctional by design
    (iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
    U.S. home price growth slows for first time in five months
    U.S. home price growth slows for first time in five months
    From left: U.S. Assemblymember Thomas Suozzi, Governor of New York Kathy Hochul, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Hochul challengers bang pro-tenant drum before primary election
    Hochul challengers bang pro-tenant drum before primary election
    From left: 11 Hoyt Street and 370 Eighth Street
    See clear across Brooklyn, unclothed: Buyer claims $5M penthouse
    See clear across Brooklyn, unclothed: Buyer claims $5M penthouse
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...