Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world. It is known for its Muslim holy places and extraordinary oil resources. Courtesy such an invaluable source of income the royal family of the country enjoys ridiculous amounts of wealth.
The royal family whose lifestyle stands in stark contrast to its conservative and religious population is a juxtaposition that people can’t get enough off. Saudi royals are notorious all over the world for their lavish and wild lifestyles. They are all descendants of Ibn Saud who conquered and unified the Arab tribes in the region that then became Saudi Arabia. He became king in 1932, and the 6 kings since him have all been his sons.
The royal family has a net worth of a whopping $1.4 trillion dollars and they have dispersed it to their 30,000 heirs. The current king is King Salman who took over the crown when his older brother King Abdullah passed away in 2015.
In KSA, the royals live and play by their own rules but they have to juggle that with still being discreet as to not anger their civil population. So they live a contrasting public and private life. Since the 18th century, this family has been ruling the country. They have dealt with turmoil within the ranks and have wreaked havoc on those who disobeyed them.
Because they come from massive wealth, those at the top of the family are able to live lavishly. King Abdullah’s home was worth an estimated $740 million dollars. Though money doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness and peace, an example being this family whose history is rich with the dark tales power politics, greed and even murdering to get a hold of the throne.
But wealth does fulfill your materialistic wishes so it’s no surprise that princes of the family have been known to spend billions of dollars on real estate and superyachts. The Saudi princesses are also notorious for going on shopping sprees and splurging their money on famous and extraordinarily expensive brands of clothing and accessories. But they are always heavily guarded by an army of private guards.
One princess is particularly known for spending extravagantly. She is Princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi. She is infamous for racking up an enormous bill -estimated to be $20 million – while on a shopping trip in Paris and skipping out on her tab. It’s said that the Saudi embassy had to intervene and pay her debt.
The most known Saudi princess worldwide is Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel. She was previously married to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family and one of the richest men in the world, according to Forbes’ estimate of his net worth. His net worth is in excess of $15 billion. He’s a successful investor who owns stakes in numerous US companies including Lyft, Twitter, and Citigroup.
Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel married into the House of Saud, the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia, in 2008.
Al-Taweel met Prince Alwaleed bin Talal when she interviewed him for a school paper. The two tied the knot nine months later in 2008, at which point Al-Taweel became the royal’s fourth wife. The couple were a hit across the globe and were looked up as style icons.
The couple separated five years later in 2013. Al-Taweel said the divorce was “amicable.” She also said she wanted to be a role model for young women and wanted to erase the stigma that prevails in the country regarding divorced women.
She is an outspoken advocate for women’s civil rights and empowerment. Over the years, she has worked closely with numerous nonprofit organizations and high-profile global leaders like the Clintons and Queen Rania of Jordan. She has advocated rigorously for women in Saudi Arabia to gain the right to drive, which they have got last year.
She is also quite vocal about women’s access to equal inheritance and custody of their children after getting divorced. Currently, women in Saudi Arabia still cannot retain custody over their children after a divorce once their sons are older than seven or their daughters are older than nine, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. The former princess is also a celebrated philanthropist. During her marriage to Prince Alwaleed, she helped head the royal’s charity, the Al Waleed bin Talal Foundation (now known as Alwaleed Philanthropies).
The 35-year-old Ameerah is also the founder and CEO of Time Entertainment, an entertainment company based in KSA. She recently tied the knot with billionaire and fellow countryman Khalifa bin Butti Al-Muhairi, 39, on September 9 during a discreet but opulent ceremony in Paris. The wedding ceremony was attended by many dignitaries including Oprah Winfrey.
But life is not always a bed of roses for Saudi princesses. Sometimes it’s quite the opposite. As of 2014, news broke out that four daughters of late King Abdullah: Sahar, then 42; Jawaher, then 38; Maha, then 41; and Hala, then 39, were under house arrest. Their mother, Alanoud Al-Fayez who was divorced by King Abdullah and lived in London, broke the news via Twitter.
Multiple accounts of their living condition include denial of proper medical care, no buying or receiving food or water and isolation in the house. They had to survive on expired food and distilling sea water. The house was guarded by the Saudi National Guard all the time, which was headed by their half-brother.
All the news about the four princesses had been posted via Jawaher’s and Sahar’s Twitter accounts or online interviews. In January 2015, after the death of King Abdullah, all of their Twitter accounts, including the mother’s, went inactive. Without online access, they simply cannot give updates about their condition. It’s expected that their condition has further worsened but it can’t be confirmed as no official update was released regarding them.