Eyeing A Saudi Arabian Prince
2:00 a.m. in the Arabian desert, the world’s fifth richest man sits alone. A rare moment of tranquility. Who is this man? What is he thinking? Why is he here?
He is His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, nephew of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, grandson of the country’s founder, grandson also of the founder of modern day Lebanon. Just 44 years old, his net worth tops $20 billion.
Mostly he lives here in a 460,000 square-foot palace he calls home. Quaint, it isn’t？ It’s 317 rooms, include 18 sitting rooms, 15 dinning rooms, 10 bedrooms, 16 pantries, and one dozen elevators. The garage is big, too. It has to be to accommodate the Prince’s hundreds of cars. And this is the Prince’s kitchen – a 30,000 – square – foot facility with enough staff and equipment to feed more than a 1,000 people on any given day. And that’s on top of 20 smaller kitchens scattered throughout the palace. The Prince’s bedroom is large, but his closet is larger. Among other things, it holds his 3,000 pairs of shoes, and hundreds of pairs of sunglasses.
Journalist: Do you think you live lavishly?
Prince: No I don’t think… I live happily. Now, maybe to some people, it’s lavish, I would acknowledge that, but to me, I live happily.
This is the other Prince Alwaleed, a top minded negotiator and international investing sensation whose personal inverstment vehicle, Kingdom Holding Company, owns stakes in a litany of the world’s best known brands. Along side Rupert Murdock and Ted Turner, he’s one of the world’s biggest media tycoons, with shares in A.O.L., Newscorp and Disney, alongside the Marriotts and the Hiltons, a leading hotelier with big chunks of The Four Season, Movenpick, and Fairmont chains as well as New York’s Plaza Hotel and Paris’s George Saint. A giant in banking, too, whose stake in Citygroup alone totals a cool $10 billion.
这是奥瓦里王子得另一面——一个强硬得谈判者和敏锐得国际投资商，他的Kingdom Holding个人投资公司拥有很多世界驰名品牌公司的股权。他与拉普特•梅铎、特德•特纳一样，都是全球最大的传媒巨子，拥有美国在线、新闻集团和迪斯尼的股份，是Marriotts、希尔顿酒店的主要老板，还是四季饭店、Movenpick、Fairmont和纽约Plaza饭店、巴黎George Saint饭店的大股东。他也是银行业的巨人，单是在Citygroup的股权就已价值100亿美元了。
But for all his wealth, this Saudi Royal still seeks something money can’t buy.
Prince: I believe that we have a mission, you know, to tell the western world held by America for sure, is that the Arabs are good businessmen, good honorable people. And when they communicate and when they do this and business with the biggest companies in America, they are welcome, and they do it very honorably. And if I can contribute in having the image being better and enhanced, of course being more positive in America, I would be more than happy to do it.