WITH a £400million superyacht, a £230million French chateau and the ambitious plans to building a £400billion mega city, there are few bigger spenders than Mohammed bin Salman.
Known as MBS, the Crown Prince, who is set to takeover Premier League giants Newcastle United, is the driving force behind Saudi Arabia’s attempts to modernise and is seen as the true power in the kingdom.
The 36-year-old is the public face of the House of Saud, with the collective wealth of its members estimated to be some £1trillion.
It is an astounding figure nearly 16 times higher than the British Royals.
Their riches stem from the vast oil reserves uncovered in Saudi Arabia more than 75 years ago during the reign of King Abdulaziz ibn Saud.
While the family normally likes to keep their fortune private, MBS is believed to live a life of almost inconceivable luxury thanks to his wealth.
He is known for his lavish spending, luxury properties and is even rumoured to be the owner of the world’s most expensive painting.
In 2015, the world was left stunned when an unnamed buyer splashed £230m on a incredible chateau in France, just west of Paris.
At the time, it was recorded as the world’s most expensive “house” sale.
Two years later, reports emerged that the buyer was bin Salman who fell in love with the 50,000 sq ft Château Louis XIV on a work trip.
The property boasts ten bedrooms, an indoor and outdoor pool, a library and an aquarium.
The aquarium doubles as a meditation room and features a transparent underwater chamber, something that wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond film.
The 17th-century chateau also has a wine cellar capable of holding 3,000 bottles, its own movie theatre, and a moat.
And if that was not enough, it has indoor and outdoor pools, a private cinema, a squash court, two ballrooms, and a nightclub.
Before the prince bought the palace, Kim Kardashian once considered it as a venue for her wedding to Kanye West.
MBS carefully concealed his ownership by using shell companies in France and Luxembourg.
And alongside this property, the prince is also believed to own the Le Rouvray estate, a 620-acre plot of land an hour’s drive from Paris.
The Crown Prince reportedly plans to renovate the manor house on the land, which hasn’t been upgraded in 60 years.
The royal then reportedly handed over nearly £400m to Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler for his superyacht in 2015.
The Serene is one of the largest boats in the world, with an overall length of 439ft and a beam that is 60ft wide.
Bin Salman also loves his art and is rumoured to be the owner of a painting worth nearly as much as his yacht.
In 2017, it was reported someone purchased Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi for £340m on behalf of the Crown Prince.
That sum made the 16th century painting the most expensive art sale ever.
The work is rumoured to be hanging aboard MBS’s yacht, making the floating palace seemingly worth more than £700million
And if all that wasn’t enough, MBS has big plans to build a £400billion mega city on a huge 10,200 square mile site along the Red Sea.
Named Neom, the development will be 17 times the size of London, and will be run on 100 per cent renewable energy.
It will become a cross-border city state with its own economic zone and more relaxed laws than the rest of Saudi Arabia.
MBS hopes his city will be able to surpass Silicon Valley in terms of technology and overtake Hollywood as the world’s entertainment capital.
Sci-fi-esque ideas are built into the plans including flying taxis, cloud seeding to make it rain, and a giant artifical moon to light up Neom at night.
Homes will have robot maids and scientists will work in the city to develop genetic modifications to enhance humans.
Beaches will have glow in the dark sand, and it is hoped a Jurassic Park-style robot dinosaur theme park will be open.
Despite his public status and extraordinary wealth, MBS leads a very private personal life.
He is said to have married Sarah bint Mashhoor, known as the “Barbie Princess” in 2008 and they have four children.
“I want my children to live a very normal life away from the spotlight, political pressures and attention,” he said in 2018.
“I want them to live a very normal life, and my wife wants the same.”
Despite his glamorous lifestyle however and talks of new, and more open, Saudi Arabia, his regime remains under scrutiny for its record on human rights.
Pictures released this week show African migrants crammed into squalid cells in Saudi Arabia as part of the kingdom’s drive to stop the spread of Covid-19
It comes after it emerged that Saudi Arabia has executed 800 people in five years — twice as many as when King Salman came to the throne in 2015.
MBS is also suspected to have been involved in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was dismembered at the Saudi consult in Istanbul.