The richest man in the Middle East was arrested in Saudi Arabia — see the luxurious Ritz Carlton where he’s being held captive

Guests were kicked out of the hotel Saturday night.

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Guests were kicked out of the hotel Saturday night.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

• Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had at least 11 princes – along with numerous ministers – arrested Saturday.

• Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, the richest man in the Middle East, according to Forbes, was one of those rounded up.

• The prisoners are currently being held in the five-star Ritz-Carlton Riyadh in the country’s capital city.

There’s just been a massive purge in Saudi Arabian politics.

Business Insider’s Peter Jacobs reported Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman consolidated power by having 11 princes and numerous government ministers seized Saturday.

But the captives are receiving better accommodations than a standard prison cell.

The royal and non-royal prisoners are reportedly confined to the five-star Ritz-Carlton Riyadh in the nation’s capital.

Here’s a look at the luxury hotel before it was converted into an makeshift prison:


The hotel first opened in 2011 and was the first ever Ritz-Carlton in Saudi Arabia.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: Five Star Alliance


It boasts 493 guest rooms, including 49 two-bedroom royal suites and 50 one-bedroom executive suites.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: Five Star Alliance


Amenities include a male-only spa, 62,000 square feet of event space, and a bowling alley.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh


In terms of dining choices, the hotel featured an Italian restaurant, Chinese cuisine, and a buffet style joint.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh


It’s not the first time the Crown Prince has had dealings with the venue. The Guardian reported the he hosted a “high-profile investment summit” at the hotel just two weeks ago.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Guardian


But late Saturday night, guests of the Ritz-Carlton were told to collect their possessions and booted from the premises, the Guardian reported.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Guardian


The Guardian reported the hotel is being used to house the high-profile prisoners, because it would be considered too “demeaning” to send them to prison.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Guardian


Business Insider reported the Crown Prince has advocated for a return to “moderate Islam” in the country, but there’s “little transparency” around the arrests, which are ostensibly part of an anti-corruption purge.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: Business Insider


The Crown Prince’s targets in this recent roundup included several prominent individuals, including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal — the richest man in the Middle East. Forbes reported he owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, which owns stakes in companies like Twitter and Citigroup.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: Forbes


The Intercept reported some of the non-royal prisoners are being held together in one room and are sleeping on mattresses.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Intercept


It’s unclear where exactly all of the royal prisoners are being held within the hotel.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Intercept


Currently, the hotel’s website is running a message warning prospective guests that the space’s internet and telephone lines are disconnected “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh/Facebook

Source: The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh