When you’re a Saudi prince, everything is luxurious — even going to jail.
When Donald Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia last May, the Saudis celebrated his arrival by projecting a multi-story image of his face on one of the ritziest hotels in the kingdom: the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh. Now that same five-star luxury oasis, which normally plays host to the world’s foremost leaders, has become the world’s fanciest prison.
That’s right: The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh was requisitioned over the weekend to house the princes, government ministers, and members of the military who were arrested by a new anti-corruption committee helmed by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose rapid rise and consolidation of power has raised eyebrows in the kingdom and around the world. Included in the group of detainees is billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose net worth of about $10 billion makes him one of the world’s wealthiest men.
On Monday images and videos began to appear on Twitter of the Ritz-Carlton’s ballroom B, which appears to have been set up with floor mats and flowery blankets. A machine gun rests against one wall.
The Guardian newspaper reported that late Saturday night, the hotel’s paying guests were roused from their rooms and hustled from the restaurant. They were told to gather in the lobby with their items and were then ushered onto vehicles and whisked off to other hotels.
Meanwhile, the newly arrested princes and ministers — who are used to a level of luxury most of the world cannot imagine — were bused to the Ritz-Carlton. They may be relatively comfortable, as detainees go, but they are, as of now, denied freedom of movement. Some 30 are housed at the Ritz, the New York Times reported, but in all as many as 500 may have Read More Here