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12 Things You Didn't Know About Mohamed Hadid
The #RHOBH regular is as cool as you think he is.
We've seen and heard a lot about Mohamed Hadid over the years. The luxury real estate developer, ex-husband of Yolanda Foster, and father to Gigi, Bella, and Anwar Hadid has appeared on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, and Shahs of Sunset. He's even found himself in the middle of some drama along the way, too.
But even through all of that, Mohamed remains somewhat of a mysterious figure. From his famous connections, Instagram posts, and a few glimpses inside his house on TV, we know that Mohamed lives a fabulous life. But dive deeper into that life, and you'll see just how fabulous it really is.
1. He Had a Challenging Childhood
But first, how did Mohamed become the hotshot that he is today? Well, his life wasn't always so glamorous. Mohamed was born in 1948 in Nazareth in what was then known as Palestine. After his birth, his mother took him to live with her mother in Damascus, Syria. Upon their return to the newly founded Israel, they learned that Mohamed's father, a professor of English at the University of Jerusalem, had been expelled, according to a 1998 profile on Mohamed in Regardie's. Now refugees, Mohamed and his mother went back to Damascus, and after months of not knowing his father's whereabouts, the whole family was finally reunited. The Hadids eventually moved to Beirut, Lebanon where his father got a job with Voice of America, which later brought the family to live in the Washington, D.C. area when Mohamed was 14 years old.
2. He Wasn't Always a Real Estate Mogul
It was there in Washington, D.C. that Mohamed cut his teeth in the business world. After running a nightclub in the Greek island of Rhodes, Mohamed partnered up with a British car salesman to start a company importing classic cars to sell in the United States capital, according to Regardie's. Though Mohamed has focused his career on real estate over the past couple of decades, he still has an affinity for sweet rides.
3. But He's Been in the Real Estate Game for a While
Mohamed would go on to try his hand at running a shirt business and a limousine company before getting into real estate development in the late 1970s, according to Regardie's. After initially working with some Arab contractors, Mohamed set his sights on constructing office buildings in Washington, D.C. Less than a decade later, Mohamed arrived in Aspen ready to take on the Colorado ski town. There, he would go on to develop a Ritz-Carlton, redevelop the old Continental Inn, and construct the Silver Circle Ice Rink. Mohamed's success in Aspen made him something of a local celebrity, as Regardie's described in 1998. It's no wonder his loved ones still return to the city today.
4. He Faced Off with Donald Trump — and Won
However, success rarely comes easily, and Mohamed had to fight to make his mark on Aspen. He did so by going toe-to-toe with none other than fellow famous real estate developer Donald Trump. In the late 1980s, Donald had intended to buy a piece of property in Aspen when it went into foreclosure and build a new hotel on that site. However, Mohamed preempted the deal and scooped up the land, which would eventually result in the construction of those aforementioned Aspen properties. Though Donald subsequently took legal action against him, this move helped Mohamed on his rise to becoming a major real estate power player.
5. He Continues to Have an Extraordinary Real Estate Career on the West Coast
Mohamed moved to Los Angeles in the early 2000s, and he eventually became one of Beverly Hills' leading luxury real estate developers. That's because Mohamed has gained quite the reputation for developing multi-million dollar mega-mansions. One of those luxury homes, the Palazzo di Amore (Italian for Palace of Love), had a price tag of $195 million, making it one of the most expensive residential listings in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2014. Mohamed has also had a slew of celebrity clients over the years, including Michael Jackson, who was living in an estate built by Mohamed at the time of his death in 2009. But not all of Mohamed's work with the rich and famous has gone smoothly. Sylvester Stallone filed a $1.4 million lawsuit against Mohamed in 2012 alleging fraudulent concealment, breach of an oral contract, negligence and disgorgement of compensation, E! News reported in 2013. However, the two settled the lawsuit in 2013, and these days, it looks like Mohamed and Sly are actually on good terms.
6. His Current Abode Will Take Your Breath Away
Of course someone that builds amazing homes for a living would have a spectacular home of his own. Mohamed currently lives in a 2.2-acre estate in Bel Air dubbed Le Belvedere. All of that outdoor space is filled with a majestic swimming pool, eight rose gardens, and three large fountains. The opulent interior of the mansion looks like something out of the Belvedere palace in Vienna, Austria, but it also has an international flair with a grand dining room, Turkish hammam, and baroque movie theater. When people talk about their dream home, they're probably referring to where Mohamed currently resides.
7. He's Had a Few Loves in His Life
Before Mohamed married Yolanda in 1994, he split up with his first wife Mary Butler in the early 1990s. Mohamed and Yolanda called it quits in 2000, but things have gotten serious for the real estate mogul in the love department once again. He got engaged to fiancee Shiva Safai in 2014, and it looks like Mohamed's big family has accepted his much-younger bride-to-be with open arms.
8. He Has a Beautiful Family
We all know about Mohamed's famous offspring, supermodels Gigi and Bella and their little brother Anwar, all of whom have appeared on RHOBH. However, Mohamed also has two other gorgeous daughters from his first marriage, Marielle Hadid, a mother of two, and Alana Hadid, an L.A.-based stylist and clothing designer. We can all try, but we'll never be as cool as the Hadid kids.
9. He Competed in the Olympics
Mohamed may seem more suave than sporty these days, but way back in 1992, he actually competed in the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. Mohamed represented Jordan in speed skiing at the age of 43, and he was that country's only representative, The New York Times reported in 1991. Though he received coaching from six-time World Speed Skiing Champion Franz Weber, Mohamed unfortunately didn't medal that year. But the fact that Mohamed still looks the same more than 20 years later is a major win in and of itself.
10. He's a Pilot
Not only can Mohamed navigate the slopes, but he can also soar through the sky. Mohamed has been a pilot for years, having been known to take a Piper Navajo aircraft out for a spin, according to a 1989 Fortune article, as well as flying to his next travel destination today. Who needs someone to fly you around when you can do it yourself?
11. He's an Artist
As you've probably been able to guess by now, Mohamed is a man of many talents. Not only is he a shrewd businessman and adrenaline junkie, but he also knows how to show his softer side. Mohamed is an artist who creates pieces that are sometimes self-portraits, sometimes abstract expressionism. He even opened the Hadid Gallery in Beverly Hills in 2011 to showcase his art and that of other talented up-and-coming artists from around the world. Mohamed certainly has an eye for beauty, so why wouldn't he try to take the art world by storm?
12. He Has a Lot of Famous Friends
Not only is Mohamed chums with fellow Bravolebs Lisa Vanderpump and Caroline Stanbury, but he also just seems to hang out with famous people on a regular basis. The above photo of Mohamed with Jim Carrey, the Dalai Lama, and Eric Benet is pretty great. He's also recently been spotted out and about with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, Guess co-founder Paul Marciano, and Woody Harrelson. Wherever Mohamed goes, beautiful people just seem to follow.
See where our fascination with Mohamed all began during his memorable first appearance on RHOBH in the clip, below.