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September 6, 2020

Grand lifestyle: MBS owns Rs88 bn yacht, Rs50 bn French chateau, Rs75 bn da Vinci painting

National

September 6, 2020

RIYADH: With a £400 million (Rs88.2 billion) superyacht, a £230 million (Rs50.72 billion) French chateau and the ambitious plans to building a £400 billion mega city, there are few bigger spenders than Mohammed bin Salman, foreign media reported.

Known as MBS, the Crown Prince is the driving force behind Saudi Arabia's attempts to modernise and is seen as the true power in the kingdom

The 35-year-old is the public face of the House of Saud, with the collective wealth of its members estimated to be some £1 trillion (Rs220,539 billion).

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.

And he was thought to have been part of the failed big-money deal to buy Newcastle United after missing out on Manchester United.

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 movie theatre, and a moat. And if that was not enough, it has indoor and outdoor pools, a private cinema, a squash court and two ballrooms.

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 (Rs75 billion) 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.