The ‘Al Saud’ has emerged as one of the world’s wealthiest dynasties. By the time of his death in 1953, King Abdulaziz had married at least eighteen women and fathered thirty-six sons and twenty-seven daughters. His offspring did not skimp on procreation either.

There are thousands of family members, all subsidized by the Saudi state. In 1996, an American diplomat visited the office that distributed their monthly stipends and found a stream of servants picking up their masters’ allowances, which varied based on their status.

The sons and daughters of King Abdulaziz received up to $270,000, his grandchildren up to $27,000, and his great-grandchildren $13,000. The most distant relatives got $800. Princes also got million-dollar bonuses to build palaces when they got married.

The diplomat estimated that the stipends cost the state more than $2 billion per year, but that was merely a guess. The cash wielded by some royals is mind-blowing. They give thousand-dollar tips to bellboys and could drop $400,000 on watches during a single shop visit.

One princess, Maha al-Sudairi of al Saud family, left behind nearly $20 million in unpaid bills in Paris, including nearly $400,000 to a luxury car service and $100,000 to a lingerie store. Three years later, she was back and tried to slip away without paying a $7 million..

bill at the Shangri-La Hotel, where she and her entourage had occupiedd 41 rooms for five months. The next year, her son celebrated his graduation by booking entire sections of Disneyland Paris. The bill for the three-day blowout came to $19.5 million.
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