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MBS paid $50 million to rent an entire island for a party

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
MBS super yacht. January 2020

Mohammad Bin Salman is known more for his ruthless character as the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. An ambitious Crown Prince, he has purged the palace of his critics, has thrown into prison political dissidents and waged a bloody war on Yemen, contributing to one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history.

Yet, the prince is not only preoccupied with politics, war or bloodshed. As one of the biggest spenders in the world bin Salman is leading an inconceivable life which the kingdom’s oil wells have provided him with.

He has splashed out hundreds of millions of dollars on super-yachts, private jets, helicopters, French chateaus, rare paintings and, of course, private parties.

In 2015, the world was left stunned as an anonymous buyer gave 300 million dollars for a French château. At the time, it was recorded as the world's most expensive "house" sale.

Just two years later, it was revealed that the generous buyer was bin Salman who had fallen in love with Château Louis XIV on a work trip.

Dating back to the 17th century, the property has ten bedrooms, an indoor and outdoor pool, a private cinema, a squash court, two ballrooms, a nightclub, a library and an aquarium. It also has fountains, a sound system, lights, and air conditioning that can all be controlled by an iPhone.

The members of the royal family, who spend outrageous amounts of money, typically on really quite outrageous things from an Islamic point of view, including prostitution alcohol, gambling, very ostentatious lifestyles that include buying huge mansions in Europe that they never even visit! There are stories of spending tens and tens of millions of dollars to buy properties and keep them up without actually ever going to stay even one night in those properties or to use them to raise revenue.

Barry Grossman, International Lawyer, Political Analyst

In the same year, the young prince handed over 500 million dollars - about double the original cost -to a Russian vodka mogul for his superyacht, one of the largest boats in the world.  

Two years after his royal shopping spree, which cost him almost half of Donald Trump's net worth, the crown prince this time tried to present himself as a man infatuated with artwork, so he purchased Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi for 450 million dollars.

He actually ordered the painting anonymously by phone. The masterpiece is said to be hung in bin Salman’s superyacht.

Bin Salman’s spending is not easily traceable and extensive investigations might just reveal the tip of the iceberg.

In September 2020, Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck published their latest book titled "Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power" in which part of the super lavish lifestyle of Saudi crown prince was laid bare.

The book claims that back in 2015, the prince flew 150 models from Brazil, Russia and elsewhere to the Maldives to party with a "few dozen" men from the Middle East. They arrived by boatload and were all allegedly tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

According to the book, the prince reportedly rented out an entire island for the party for 50 million dollars. He also hired big names from around the world, including Pitbull, “Gangnam Style” and DJ Afrojack along with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

If we look at what they spend their money on, of course, there's all sorts of material and it's terribly embarrassing. I mean, MBS himself preferred, unlike his father, life in Europe and France, he was something of a playboy, a big spender, his father was in America, worked with NASA; these are odd people, Okay, and they spend their money, basically like billionaires anywhere else in the world, throwing money, huge amounts of money and things which, Islamicly speaking, much more often than not, are considered Haram.

Barry Grossman, International Lawyer, Political Analyst

Mohammad bin Salman is just one out of 15,000 members of the Saudi royal family with wealth estimated up to 1.4 trillion dollars, more than any other royal families and nearly 16 times higher than the British Royals (which is worth estimated $88 billion). 

What we also know is that only about 2000 of those 15,000 members of the House of Saud enjoy power, that is, political power, and what we would call extreme wealth, so that massive amount of money that the House of Saud has accumulated is actually distributed through, not the entire family but only about 2000 people within the family, and those people enjoy through the head of the family who is the king from time to time. They enjoy absolute power in Saudi Arabia so it's a, it's a bit of a,  well not a bit it's a misperception to think of Saudi Arabia as some kind of a democracy with a ruling monarch is that head of state.

In fact, the system of government in Saudi Arabia is much more like the old feudal systems that dominated in Europe in the dark ages, with the royal family exercising absolute power, including the power of life and death, over all of their subjects and having the right basically to help themselves to whatever wealth the nation has. That's the Saudi Arabia that we know today.

Barry Grossman, International Lawyer, Political Analyst

This huge wealth comes from the kingdom's vast petroleum reserves which supposedly belongs to the whole nation but in fact is the Saudi royals' family property.

King Salman himself is estimated to have a net worth of over a billion dollars.

The Saudi monarchy is extremely wealthy. The Saudi monarchy in the 21st century plays her role in the United Nations, it is a member of the United Nations, and one of the pillars of the United Nations Charter is the fair distribution of wealth. So we are all on this boat together. I would like to see the Saudi monarchy distribute the oil wealth among all persons living under its jurisdiction.

Alfred de Zayas, Lawyer, Writer and Historian

The royal family is rumored to own several lavish residences around the world, including in Switzerland, The UK, France, and Morocco. In 2015, CBS NEWS listed ten luxurious perks of being the Saudi king.  

Inside the kingdom, the royals also have astonishing palaces. One of them is the Al-Yamamah Palace with gold fixtures and fitting.

It is of course scandalous, when there are people trying to make ends meet, when the monarch spends trillions of dollars in his own comfort, its lavish mansions and castles and boats, etc. So what is needed is actually a return to the values, to the Abrahamic values, of the Quran and the Bible.

Alfred de Zayas, Lawyer, Writer and Historian

The extravagant lifestyle of Saudi royals, above all that of the Crown Prince, doesn’t represent the lifestyle of ordinary people in the kingdom that have to struggle day by day in order to make ends meet.

The bitter reality is noticeable everywhere in the kingdom, even in the holy city of Mecca where slum areas are too vast to be hidden.


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