Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd
Prince

Spouse Al Anoud bint Faisal bin Mishaal Al Saud
Full name
Abdul Aziz bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
House House of Saud
Father King Fahd
Mother Al Jawhara Al Ibrahim
Born 1973 (age 40–41)
Religion Islam

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd (عبد العزيز بن فهد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود) (born 1973) is the reportedly favorite son of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, but is known mostly for his extravagance and playboy image.[1]

Early life and education

Abdul Aziz was born in 1973. His mother wanted to be called Umm 'Abd al-'Aziz (mother of 'Abd al-'Aziz).[2] In fact, his mother is Al Jawhara bint Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, belonging to the wealthy Al Ibrahim family.[3]

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd received a bachelor of arts degree in administrative sciences from King Saud University.[4]

Professional experience

Prince Abdul Aziz was first appointed as minister of state without portfolio in May 1998.[5] Then, he was made head of the Office of the Council of Ministers in January 2000, when he was just 28 years old.[6] It was reported that after King Fahd's death, he began to live in Switzerland and came to Saudi Arabia to participate in the meetings of the Council of Ministers.[7]

On 26 June 2011, he was relieved from his position as head of the court of Cabinet affairs by a royal decree.[8] It was declared that he resigned from his posts of minister of State and member of the Council of Ministers at his own request in June 2011.[9] However, he is still named as minister of the state and a cabinet member.[10]

Business activities

The ties between Saudi Oger and Prince Abdul Aziz are well known in Saudi Arabia. The company was founded by Rafik Hariri, who built Saudi Oger into a large company with the assistance of King Fahd. Hariri said ‘The meat on my shoulder is from King Fahd,’ according to As'ad Abu Khalil, a professor of political science at California State University Stanislaus, who has written several books and runs the blog The Angry Arab News Service. Hariri, also a former prime minister of Lebanon, was assassinated in 2005. His son, Saad Hariri, took over Saudi Oger and became Lebanon’s prime minister for 14 months before he was ousted in 2011. Saad Hariri and Prince Abdul Aziz are known to be close.[11]

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd owns the fifty percent of the MBC, of which the remaining fifty percent is owned by his maternal uncle Waleed bin Ibrahim al Ibrahim. It is reported that Prince Abdul Aziz deals with both the profits and the ideology of MBC Channels, including al Arabiya.[12]

It emerged in a New York Supreme Court affidavit that he is the secret owner of a $1 billion property portfolio in the US [13] which owns the American headquarters of the oil giant BP and the defence contractor BAe Systems (the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper claimed in January 2011 that the portfolio is in fact £4 billion in value).[14] The affidavit, which was subsequently partially sealed by the judge but had already become available on internet blogs [15][16] stated that the properties were being managed by a group which included Sheikh Majid Al Ibrahim, Prince’s maternal uncle, and that total control of the portfolio was ultimately seized by Interventure Capital Group and Interventure Advisers, both of Manhattan, New York. According to a press release issued by Hyatt Hotels Corporation,[17] Interventure Capital Group is run by Jaber Al Ibrahim and is an adviser to Naseel Holding Company, the Al Ibrahim family investment vehicle chaired by Sheikh Majid Al Ibrahim.[18]

According to an unchallenged report in the UK's Daily Telegraph in October 2010, Interventure Capital Group is also behind another major portfolio of properties which had been controlled by a UK-based company, StratREAL.[19] Assets purchased by StratREAL on behalf of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd included Fifth Street Towers, a Minneapolis office complex, for $294 million in 2007.[20] In May 2012, following a foreclosure on the complex for mortgage default, Fifth Street Towers was sold at a sheriff's auction for $1 over the outstanding debt of $110 million.[21]

A mansion at 5 Palace Green, on London's Kensington Palace Gardens (nicknamed "Billionaires' Row"), was reported to be being offered for sale by Abdul Aziz in July 2013 for £100 million.[22]

Alliances

Abdul Aziz bin Fahd was previously one of King Abdullah's closest aides. However, later, he seemed to have had a falling out with the monarch and to have been close to his uncle, the late Crown Prince Nayef.[23]

Fortune

Abdul Aziz receives exactly half of all profits of the successful Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).[12] He has a number of palaces in Saudi Arabia and around various other parts of the world which have cost over $2 billion[24] which include:

  • London Mansion on the Billionaire's row in Kensington, now for sale at £100 million.[25]
  • A very large private stately residential complex with the replica of Alhambra and several other famous forts set within well maintained splendid gardens covering an area of 134 acres in the exclusive area overlooking Wadi Hanifa in Riyadh. 24°38′45″N 46°38′36″E / 24.645808°N 46.643202°E / 24.645808; 46.643202

    • Massive farm near Janadriya covering an area of 715 acres or about 2.89 square kilometers at the northern outskirts of Riyadh. Satellite photos reveal large swimming pools, luxury tents and its own water and sewage treatment facility set within a large date farm.25°08′18″N 46°47′33″E / 25.138224°N 46.79251°E / 25.138224; 46.79251

      • In Jeddah he has several palaces with private yacht berths and each palace has more than twenty guest houses .
      • Al Khobar Palace with berth for his super yacht Prince Abdulaziz [26]

      In addition, he reportedly owns "the Pyramid House" on Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills, California.[27][28] He also has several super yachts including Prince AbdulAziz, which is one of the largest built in the 20th century.[29]


      Personal life

      Abdul Aziz bin Fahd married to Al Anoud bint Faisal Al Saud in December 2010.[30] His wife is a granddaughter of late Sultan bin Abdulaziz and of Mishaal bin Abdulaziz.[31]

      He deals with camel racing in Saudi Arabia. His camels won the race organized in the Janadriyah festival in 2011.[32]

      The Prince is well known as a great globetrotter in pursuit of pleasure, for such endeavour he has equipped himself with a Boeing 777, a Boeing 737 Business Jet and a Canadair Challenger which are all well-staffed with young Western female flight attendants. The fleet of private jets are furnished with plenty of bedrooms, showers and even a fully equipped hospital to make sure the Prince reaches his frequent destinations such New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and, less often, Saudi Arabia.[33]

      References

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