Mohammed bin Salman is a Saudi crown prince. He used to be the country’s defence minister and is now the deputy prime minister and heir to the throne.
He is rich and powerful, but at 35 he is better known for being the ‘party prince’. It seems nobody knows how to throw a blowout quite like Mohammed bin Salman.
A new book called Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power, by Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, has chronicled some of the Saudi prince’s bigger soirees, including one in July 2015 they say “models arrived by the literal boatload” to attend.
As the New York Post reports, the women were allegedly flow in from Brazil and Russia to attend the event, hosted on the private Maldives island of Velaa, to party with “just a ‘few dozen’ men from the Middle East”.
They say the prince, known as ‘MBS’, forked out US$50million (AUD$67million) for the party, which was run by 300 staffers who work at the resort. They were reportedly paid a generous bonus for their efforts.
“Mohammed knew that Saudi Arabia’s young people were tired of decades of obscene spending by the ruling family and frustrated by online accounts of princes’ ostentatious homes, spending sprees at Harrods, and sports cars racing through the streets of [London’s] Mayfair,” the authors write.
Phones were banned on the island to protect guests’ privacy, with two employees allegedly fired for breaking the rule.
The book claims the women who arrived on the island were tested for STDs before being allowed to join in the fun.
“Only after the testing was done and the women had settled into their villas did the seaplanes carrying Mohammed bin Salman and his friends arrive,” they write.
Hope and Scheck, who spent two years investigating the Saudi prince, claim big-name celebrities including Pitbull, Psy, DJ Afrojack, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira were hired to perform at these events.
The party lasted days, according to the book, but as soon as news services found out about it everyone quickly left.
The royal’s next move was to buy a 11-metre superyacht called the Serene on which to host parties.
MBS is the eighth child of King Salman and the first of his mother Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen, who is the king’s third wife.
He enjoyed a privileged childhood, spending his days scuba diving and playing video games and it wasn’t until he was 15 he discovered his father wasn’t as wealthy as he thought he was and owed money to other princes and businessmen.
MBS decided to start a business, asking his father for permission to open a store selling gold coins and luxury watches at the age of 16. He started by selling gifts that had been given to him and then began trading stocks.
Several other companies followed, including ones dealing in real estate.
He amassed an incredible fortune and as his parties have shown, he is happy to share he wealth with a select group of male friends and associates, not giving much thought to how his indulgences look to the outside world.
MBS’ ruthlessness is legendary. He become crown prince of Saudi Arabia over his cousin and had numerous family members jailed in 2017 for “corruption”.
While his father remains king, it is thought MBS heavily influences him, and he was said to behind the 2017 edict allowing women to drive.