It has been five years since Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman assumed his role as the country’s de facto ruler; since then, he has implemented a number of reforms that have thrown his traditionally conservative kingdom into disarray while simultaneously eliminating any potential threats to his position as ruler.
The hard-charging successor has garnered praise for his vision of an economy that is less reliant on oil and for letting women to drive, but he has also aroused international outrage for the horrific murder of writer Jamal Khashoggi and other state crimes.
Prince Mohammed is a towering man with a full-face beard, a deep growling voice, and seemingly boundless energy. He is known for his super-sized ambitions, including building the futuristic megacity known as NEOM and waging the war in neighbouring Yemen for seven years. His voice can be described as deep and growling.
The arrogant 36-year-old is rumoured to have a penchant for fast food and the “Call of Duty” video games. He is also fabulously wealthy, owning a French chateau, a yacht valued at $500 million, and, according to reports that have been officially denied, a Leonardo da Vinci painting valued at $450 million.
Unlike other Saudi princes who have British accents, smart suits, and Oxford degrees, he has embraced the Bedouin traditions of the nation. He wears a traditional robe and sandals most of the time, and he hosts sumptuous roast lamb feasts in luxurious desert camps for his friends and family.
Since he rose to power from a position of relative obscurity, he has been responsible for the most significant change in Saudi Arabia’s modern history. Saudi Arabia is the leading exporter of crude oil in the world and is home to Islam’s two holiest sites: Mecca and Medina.
Under his leadership, the Islamic religious police have been defanged, theatres have reopened, international visitors have been welcomed, and Saudi Arabia has sponsored a film festival, operas, a Formula One Grand Prix, professional wrestling, and a big rave festival.
However, he has also jailed those who disagree with him, and in 2017, as part of an anti-corruption crackdown that tightened his grip on power, he detained and threatened approximately 200 princes and businessmen in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh. This was part of a purge of the nation’s elite that was carried out as part of a sweeping purge of the nation’s elite.
The horrific murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi inside of the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018 triggered a worldwide outrage in spite of Riyadh’s assurance that rogue operatives carried out the crime. This was the event that most badly harmed his reputation.
Ben Hubbard, author of “MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman,” stated in his book that “MBS is a hugely divisive character, praised by supporters as a long-awaited game-changer in a region aching for it and dismissed by foes as a brutal dictator in the making.” Hubbard made this statement in “MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman.”
“He is unyielding in his resolve to destroy his adversaries and is committed to ushering in a brilliant and wealthy future for the Saudi people. These characteristics, when added together in varying proportions, will almost certainly direct his activities long into the future.”