The Real Deal New York

Up for a trip? Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton is taking reservations again

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's company may be bargaining chip in negotiations for his release
January 21, 2018 09:00AM

Mohammed bin Salman (Credit: Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz and Pixabay)

The five-star hotel that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman turned into a makeshift prison will be back in business on February 14.

Bin Salman is beginning to clear the 492-room hotel of detainees whom he ordered to be detained in November on charges of corruption with the goal of uncovering misappropriated funds to the tune of $100 billion, reports Bloomberg. The move is part of a spate of new developments bin Salman has initiated for the country including women being granted drivers’ licenses and access to public events they were previously banned from attending, along with economic changes such as a new consumer tax.

As of December the hotel was housing 159 detainees and, though some have since been released according to reports, not all detainees are free to go yet; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the region’s wealthiest man whose company, Kingdom Holdings, includes assets ranging from a stake in the Plaza Hotel and the Four Seasons chain to Twitter and Lyft, is still negotiating the terms of his release.

According to Bloomberg, he is standing firm against terms that may include giving up control of his company. [Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson