Saudi royals selling valuables as MBS makes power play
Saudi Arabia's royal family members are selling assets to generate cash after the Saudi crown prince has further used his influence to consolidate power.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Saudi princes have sold $600 million worth of real estate, yachts, and artwork since Mohammad bin Salman has attempted to further consolidate power by cutting off their access to money.
MBS, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, has dried up the Saudi royals' sources of money under the pretense that they have "extraordinary spending habits" they have to maintain, but this could very much be an extension of the 2017 Ritz-Carlton power play.
The sellers, however, are some of the most powerful people in Saudi Arabia. Over the years, Mohammed bin Salman has been sidelining the relatives he viewed as potential rivals, curtailed many of their perks, and prevented them from accumulating large sums of money through state deals.
Some of those currently liquidating assets were detained in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel in 2017, in what was called by critics as a shakedown, whereby the royals wishing to leave had to sign over large sums of their belongings to the Crown Prince.
Some of those who are selling off their belongings include Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who sold off a $155 million country estate west of London. His children are appointed as ambassadors to Washington and London. A brother of Prince Bandar, Prince Khaled, sold a Paris mansion next to the Eiffel Tower for over $87 million in 2020 and a superyacht in 2019.