Abdul-Jalil and Superstar Management has worked in PRIVATE EVENTS with several members of the Saudi Arabian Royal family including His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Azziz Al-Saud and his son His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Al Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.
Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud is a Saudi Arabian billionaire businessman, investor, philanthropist and Royal. He was listed on Time magazine’s Time 100, an annual list of the hundred most influential people in the world, and the fifth-richest man in the world, with a net worth of nearly $50 billion! Al Waleed bin Talal’s grandfather was Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch, and of Riad Al Solh, Lebanon‘s first prime minister.
Al Waleed is the founder, chief executive officer and 95 percent owner of the Kingdom Holding Company, a company that spans four continents with investments in companies in the financial services, tourism and hospitality, mass media, entertainment, retail, agriculture, petrochemicals, aviation, technology, and real-estate sectors. In 2013, the company had a market capitalization of over $28 billion. Over the years, he has acquired major stakes in companies such as Citigroup Inc. to the Four Seasons luxury hotel chain, Apple Computer Inc., AOL Time Warner Inc., News Corp., Saks Inc.- parent of retailer Saks Fifth Avenue and owns the Disney company’s Paris resort- Euro Disneyland Paris and its sister park, Walt Disney Studios, a minor shareholder in Zaveriwala Holdings LLC, and owns Paris’ Four Seasons Hotel George V and part of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Time has called him the “Arabian Warren Buffett“. Forbes listed Al Waleed as the 4th-richest man in the world with a net worth of $49.8 billion.
Two of Abdul Jalil and Superstar Managements long time business associates since 1968 are attorney Donald Warden with his law firm of Holmes & Warden, and partner Roger C. Holmes.
Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al-Mansour formerly known as Donald Warden with Holmes, who later took the name Dr. Faissal Mohammed Fahad, were representing HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulazziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia in a court case in California. Al-Mansour would become Special Advisor to HRH Prince Al-Waleed.
Abdul-Jalil introduced his client M. C. Hammer to Al-Monsour and Al-Waleed and arranged a week long event in Paris, France, for Al-Waleed at his Paris resort- Euro Disneyland Paris and its sister park, Walt Disney Studios. Abdul-Jalil also made the introduction of Al-Waleed’s son Prince Khaled bin Al-Waleed bin Talal, also known as Abu Jenna in the business world, a very successful businessman in his own right.
Prince Al-Waleed (the world’s 19th riches person at the time), was a student at Menlo College in California, asked Donald Warden/Al-Mansour to go home with him to Riyadh. The Royal Family and was upset because OPEC was being sued. The Saudi King asked that Donald Warden/Al-Mansour to ”take the case” and they began legal representation defending OPEC in court.
Al-Mansour, as the “formal” attorney for OPEC, employed the tactic of threatening, then engaged in an oil embargo by the OPEC nations in response to a lawsuit filed against them. The threat of reprisals also included withdrawal of funds on deposit with American banks. The antitrust lawsuit had been filed in December 1978 by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in federal court in Los Angeles, and the decision was announced in September at 477 F.Supp. 553 (1979). It is fascinating to note that another attorney who wrote a brief on behalf of Indonesia-U.S. Business Committee of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was Antonin Scalia, then a professor at the University of Chicago, years before he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986.
Warden/Al-Mansour won the OPEC case and was Cited by Federal Judge Andrew Hauk for the Clarence Darrow Award as lead attorney in the famous IAM vs. OPEC trial (1978).
Thereafter the Prince asked Al-Mansour to accompany him around Africa and help him invest there in order to “build Africa up”. Al-Mansour knew many of the Presidents in Africa and made the introductions to the Prince.
They then founded the international law firm of Al-Waleed, Al-Talal and Al-Mansour.
Al-Mansour and Prince Al-Waleed raising of President Barak Obama
Al-Mansour took an interest in Barak Obama when they met up during one of Al-Mansur’s speeches at Columbia. As Percy Sutton told NY1 reporter Dominic Carter on the show “Inside City Hall”, “I was introduced to (Obama) by a friend who was raising money for him.” He asked Sutton to write a letter in support of Obama’s application to Harvard Law School.
“The friend’s name is Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, from Texas,” Sutton said. “He is the principal adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama.”
Sutton recalled that al-Mansour said that “there is a young man that has applied to Harvard. I know that you have a few friends up there because you used to go up there to speak. Would you please write a letter in support of him?” Sutton did.
Sutton revealed that it was Al-Mansour (from San Antonio, Texas) who raised the money to pay for Obama’s education at Harvard when Obama was 25 years old.
- So, Obama graduated from Columbia University in New York, spent a time as a community organizer in Chicago, met Al-Mansour and headed off to Harvard. Obama arrived unknown, but left with having had national news media exposure, a book contract… and, having been the Editor of the Law Review on his resumé. He graduated Magnum Cum Laude.
- One of Obama’s patron’s was Prince Al-Waleed, now the world’s fourth richest man. Shortly before Obama entered Harvard Law, Al-Waleed donated twenty million dollars to Harvard. Five or six years later Al-Waleed created the “Al-Waleed bin-Talal Center for Islamic Studies” at Harvard Divinity School, its best-funded division. At about the same time Al-Waleed opened similar centers at Georgetown, Cambridge, American University, and many other major Universities.
September 19, 1995, 34 year-old Barack Obama announced his candidacy for Illinois’s State Senate. One of his opponents was first-time candidate Gha-is Askia.
During his campaign, Abdul-Jalil consulted Askia and his client, M. C. Hammer supported a community event Askia sponsored while doing a series of TV/radio/media appearances in Chicago for his album promotion tour.
Obama had been a grassroots organizer in this gritty neighborhood, registering thousands to vote before going off to Harvard Law School. He came back to Chicago, to work as a lawyer. And saw a chance to run for state Senate. But in his first race for office he made sure Democratic voters had just one choice. Him.
ALL Obama’s opponents were kicked off that ballot before a single vote was cast. How? Obama sent a team of lawyers and volunteers to the Chicago Board of Elections, and challenged the petitions of his opponents. You needed 757 signatures of registered voters to become a candidate. Askia gathered 1,999. But when the Obama team was through challenging his signatures, addresses and voter registrations, Askia came up 69 signatures short. THE REST, AS THEY SAY, IS HISTORY!!
Abdul-Jalil and Askia partnered to bring Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie to San Francisco on November 5, 1995 for “The Sports Image Awards”, an event Abdul-Jalil Sponsored, to Honor Ali with the “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
The Sports Image Awards- A Night to Remember!, sought to single out and honor those in sports who have dedicated effort, time and money to better their community, the nation, and the World. Those honored, we feel, are a part of a long line of athletes that back to the great Paul Robeson, who matched dignity with dollars. Those who use sports for it’s highest and most noble purpose, the uplifting of the Human Family.
Also being honored were Venus Williams, Carl Lewis, Steve Young, Al Attles, Dave Stewart, Peter Westbrook. Hammer was the Featured Entertainer. The program included Founder- Martin Wyatt, Master of Ceremonies- Mark Curry, Music Director- Narada Michael Walden, Recording Artist- Color Me Badd, Touch of Class Choir, Clarence Clemmons, Nikita Germaine. Lisa DeBartolo- 49er Foundation and Dennis Banks presented and received Special Presentations.
He was listed in the ‘Top 100 most powerful Arabs’ from 2013 to 2021 by Gulf Business.
Euro Disneyland Paris Resort, one of our accommodations and performance venues, cost more than $3 billion and is Disney’s most lavish resort, is 4,400 acres parkland, seven hotels, boasting more than 5,000 rooms designed by famed architects Michael Graves and Robert Stern, dozens of restaurants, an entertainment village designed by Frank Gehryat, and has the Paris Metro express to the site 20 miles east of Paris.
He owns the Four Seasons Hotel George V (Sanc), in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. An art-deco landmark built in 1928, Four Seasons Hotel George V, one of our accommodation sites, is nestled in the Golden Triangle of Paris, just off the historic Champs-Elysees. It has oversized suites with Eiffel Tower views welcome you after a day of wandering the quaint, Parisian streets, with three restaurants – with five Michelin stars among them – are home to some of the best food in France. A decadent new spa, an elegant swimming pool and a courtyard for whiling away the afternoons with a glass of wine from our cellar are just some of the pleasures unique to our historic destination.
Al Waleed bin Talal was born in Jeddah on 7 March 1955 to Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz and Mona El Solh. His father was Saudi Arabia’s finance minister during the early 1960s, before he went into exile due to his advocacy for political reform. Al Waleed’s paternal grandparents were King Abdulaziz and Munaiyir. His grandmother, an Armenian, was presented by the emir of Unayzah to King Abdulaziz in 1921, when she was 12 years old and Abdulaziz was 45. His maternal grandparents were Riad Al Solh, the first prime minister of Lebanon, and Fayza Al Jabiri, the sister of Syrian Prime Minister Saadallah al-Jabiri.
Al Waleed’s parents separated when he was seven, and he lived with his mother in Lebanon. He first attended Pinewood College in Beirut. As a boy, he ran away from home for a day or two at a time, sleeping in unlocked cars, before attending the King Abdulaziz Military Academy in Riyadh. In 1974, he returned to Lebanon, attending the Choueifat School and then Manor School. Al Waleed received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Menlo College in California in 1979, finishing in two-and-a-half years, and a master’s degree with honors in social science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1985, finishing in eleven months.: 57
Al Waleed began his business career in 1979 after graduating from Menlo College. He returned to Saudi Arabia, which was in the midst of the 1974–85 oil boom. Operating from a small, four-room cabin in Riyadh and $30,000 start-up money provided by his father, Al Waleed formed Kingdom Establishment in 1980. When that money ran out in a few months, he secured a $300,000 loan from the Saudi American Bank, partly owned by Citibank. Rather than taking a commission for facilitating contracts as the legally required middleman, Al Waleed insisted on a stake in the project. His first success was in 1982, partnering with a South Korean construction company, and from then on, his commissions were used to fund his real estate deals. In his own words, “All the money I used to get from this construction I would plough back into real estate, and in the stock market, both.”
After the end of the Saudi oil boom, Al Waleed acquired the underperforming United Saudi Commercial Bank (USCB). Through mergers with Saudi Cairo Bank (SCB), forming United Saudi Bank (USB), and the Saudi American Bank (SAMBA), it became a leading Middle Eastern bank. The hostile takeover of USCB in 1986, the merger with SCB in 1997, and the merger of USB with SAMBA in 1999, were the first of their kind in the Kingdom. He then secured a majority in Al-Azizia Panda, merging it with the Savola Group, and took over National Industrialization Company.
By 1989, his net worth was $1.4 billion, and included stakes in Canary Wharf, Four Seasons Hotel Group, and News Corporation. When Al Waleed turned to the international market, he focused on “established brands going through hard times,” as Riz Khan puts it. Al Waleed would do his homework, and then wait for the proper purchase entry point. He invested about $250 million in Chase Manhattan, Citigroup, Manufacturers Hanover, and Chemical Bank. After seven months, he sold his stakes in the other banks and concentrated on investing in Citicorp, acquiring 4.9 percent of the bank. Though the worst performing bank of the four, Al Waleed considered Citicorp had the best potential.
In Sept. 1990, Citibank was undercapitalized due to real estate credit losses and exposure to Latin America debt, prompting a need for a capital reserve. By Nov. they were actively seeking investors. Based on his banking experience in the Kingdom, Al Waleed agreed in Jan. 1991 to invest $590 million, about half his accumulated wealth, in a five-year convertible security paying 11 percent interest. By Feb., that took his total investment in Citicorp to $797 million, or about 15 percent of the company. Though he had received a Federal Reserve temporary waiver to own such a large portion of the company, Al Waleed sold enough shares in 1993 to get below the 10 percent threshold. Still, he was the largest shareholder in the largest US financial institution at the time. Yet, in Alwaleed’s words, “It is not a relationship, it’s an alliance. We are there forever with them.” Sandy Weill says of Al Waleed, “I think what he did really saved the bank.”
In 1994, Al Waleed secured a 50 percent controlling interest in Fairmont, and a 22 percent stake in the Four Seasons. In 1995, he bought a 42 percent stake in the Plaza Hotel. Then, in 1996, he bought the George V for $185 million, and spent $120 million renovating it for a reopening in Dec 1999. Regarding Al Waleed’s investment in the George V, Issy Sharp states, “…he created value where no one else could…”
Also in 1994, Al Waleed bought a 24 percent stake in Euro Disney for $345 million.
In 1995, Kingdom Establishment for Trading and Contracting was reorganized as the Kingdom Holding Company, and Al Waleed announced construction of the Kingdom Centre, Kingdom Hospital, Kingdom School and Kingdom City. Also in 1995, he bought a 2.3 percent share of Mediaset after having invested earlier in the Arab Radio and Television Network, acquiring 30 percent. In Oct. 1995, Al Waleed joined a consortium which paid $1.2 billion for control of Canary Wharf, with his share of the company amounting to 6 percent, costing him $66 million.
In March 1997, Al Waleed purchased a 5 percent stake in Apple Inc., making him the largest shareholder. In Nov. 1997, he purchased 1 percent share of Motorola for $287 million and a five percent share of Netscape for $146 million, before its purchase by AOL and merger with Time Warner. In 2001 and 2002, Al Waleed increased his stake in AOL Time Warner by another $540 million. He also invested in MCI, Fox Broadcasting and other technology and media companies.
Time reported in 1997 that Al Waleed owned about five percent of News Corporation, which he purchased for $400 million, making him the third largest shareholder. In April 1999, Al Waleed purchased an additional $200 million of preferred shares. In 2010 his News Corporation stake was about seven percent ($3 billion). Three years later News Corporation had a $175 million (19-percent) investment in Al Waleed’s Rotana Group, the Arab world’s largest entertainment company. A review of his holdings implied that Al Waleed had sold his investment in AOL.
In April 1997, Al Waleed purchased a 4 percent stake in Planet Hollywood for $57 million, and another 16 percent in Nov 1998 for $45 million.
In Oct. 1997, Al Waleed bought 27 percent of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, which he increased to 33 percent in 2003.
In 1999, The Economist expressed doubts about the source of his income, wondering if he was a front man for other Saudi investors.
He has not earned enough income from his investments to pay for all that he has spent in the 1990s. The mystery goes back to that first stake in Citicorp. The prince has declared that this money came entirely from his personal funds. He says he started out in 1979 with a loan of just $30,000 from his father. He also mortgaged a house that his father had given him, raising something like $400,000. And each month, as a grandson of Ibn Saud, he receives $15,000. You could barely clothe a Saudi prince for such sums, let alone furnish him with a multi-billion-dollar empire. Nevertheless, by 1991 Prince Alwaleed had felt able to risk an investment of $797m in Citicorp.
Al Waleed invested in WorldCom, Priceline.com, Coca-Cola, and Ford Motor Company, totaling almost $2 billion. In Asia, he bought 5.9 percent of Daewoo for $50 million, which he increased to 18 percent with an additional $100 million investment, 3 percent of PROTON Holdings for $46 million, 3 percent of Ong Beng Seng‘s Hotel Properties Ltd., and $50 million worth of Hyundai Motor Company bonds. In Africa, he invested $50 million, acquiring 10 percent of Sonatel, 10 percent of Ecobank, 13.7 percent of United Bank for Africa, and 14 percent of CAL Bank. Investments which turned out poorly included WorldCom, Priceline, Teledesic, and KirchMedia, besides Planet Hollywood and Euro Disney.
In 2002, Al Waleed formed Kingdom Hotel Investments to oversee his hotel assets.
By 2003, Al Waleed owned 100 percent of Rotana, and 49 percent of LBC Sat.
His real-estate holdings included large stakes in the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and New York’s Plaza Hotel; Al Waleed sold half his shares in the Plaza in August 2004. He has invested in London’s Savoy Hotel and Monaco’s Monte Carlo Grand Hotel. Al Waleed holds a ten-percent stake in Euro Disney S.C.A., the company which owns, manages and maintains Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée.
The 2004 Forbes list of wealthiest people had Al Waleed fourth, with a net worth of $21.5 billion. More than $1.3 billion was in hotel holdings.
The Savoy Hotel in London is owned by Al Waleed
In January 2005, Al Waleed purchased the Savoy Hotel in London for an estimated £250 million, to be managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts; his sister, Sultana Nurul, owns an estimated 16 percent stake. In January 2006, in partnership with the U.S. real-estate firm Colony NorthStar, Kingdom Holding acquired Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts for an estimated $3.9 billion. It was reported in 2009 that Al Waleed owned 35 percent of Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), a large mid-east media company.
In August 2011, Al Waleed announced that his company had contracted with the Saudi Binladin Group to build the world’s tallest building, the Kingdom Tower (at a height of at least 1,000 metres (3,300 ft)) for SR 4.6 billion. The original plan—announced in 2008—called it برج الميل (Arabic for “One-Mile Tower”), at a height of 1,609 metres (5,279 ft) and an estimated cost of $20 billion.
In December 2011, Al Waleed invested $300 million in Twitter, purchasing secondary shares from insiders. The purchase gave Kingdom Holding a “more than 3% share” in the company, which was valued at $8 billion in late summer 2011.
In 2015, he announced that he would donate his fortune to charity at an unspecified date. He had previously donated $3.5 billion over the course of 35 years through his charitable organization Alwaleed Philanthropies.
From 2015 to 2021, he lost several lawsuits against Pierre El Daher, CEO of LBCI, and would be required to pay $22m, due to breaches in contract conditions with the Lebanese broadcaster.
In May 2022, he was listed as committing to purchase approximately 35 million shares of Twitter Inc. at or immediately prior to the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk and other private-equity investors behind Musk’s bid.
Arrest and release
Main article: 2017 Saudi Arabian purge
On 4 November 2017, Al Waleed was arrested in Saudi Arabia in a “corruption crackdown” conducted by a new royal anti-corruption committee. This was done on authority of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, his cousin (both are grandsons of Ibn Saud, first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia), with the aim of consolidating his position.
Just days before his arrest, Al Waleed reportedly contacted US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (who had publicly criticized the Saudi government in the past) and invited him to return to the Kingdom to contribute to Mohammad bin Salman’s vision.
The authorities in Saudi Arabia were demanding at least $6 billion from Prince Al Waleed bin Talal in exchange of his release.
In total, 320 princes, ministers and businessmen were detained at the five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. Al Waleed was released from detention in late January 2018, nearly three months after his arrest, after he and most of the other Saudi notables arrested the previous year had made a financial settlement of some kind with the Saudi government. Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the son of the late King Abdullah (1924–2015), was released after paying a reported $1 billion. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the price for his release was $6 billion.
The Saudi Arabia government did not disclose charges or produce evidence and the negotiations were held in secret.
In 2013, Kerry Dolan, editor of Forbes‘ annual billionaires’ list, wrote an article accompanying the list entitled “Prince Alwaleed and the Curious Case of Kingdom Holding Stock”. According to Dolan, Al Waleed attached great importance to the Forbes list and she alleged a correlation between changes in the share price of Kingdom Holdings and the annual run-up to the list’s publication. In the Forbes article, Dolan wrote that Al Waleed would blind copy Dolan on text messages he sent to prominent people in an attempt to impress her. She spent a week with him in Riyadh in 2008, at his behest, touring his palaces. In 2006 Forbes estimated Al Waleed’s net worth at $7 billion less than he claimed. He telephoned Dolan at home, according to the editor, “nearly in tears”. Al Waleed had Kingdom Holding’s chief financial officer fly to New York before a previous list was published to ensure that Forbes used his stated numbers.
The article explains the methodology behind Forbes‘ 2013 estimate of his wealth at $20 billion, examines Kingdom Holdings’ share performance and contains Dolan’s communications with Kingdom Holdings CFO Shadi Sanbar. Sanbar demanded that Al Waleed’s name be removed from the billionaires’ list if Forbes did not increase its valuation of his wealth. Dolan wrote, “As Forbes asked increasingly specific questions in the process of fact-checking this story, the prince acted unilaterally the day before it was published, announcing through his office that he would ‘sever ties’ with the list.” Sanbar said in a press release, “Prince Alwaleed has taken this step as he felt he could no longer participate in a process which resulted in the use of incorrect data and seemed designed to disadvantage Middle Eastern investors and institutions.”
Al Waleed said in a March 2013 interview with The Sunday Telegraph that he would pursue legal action against Forbes. “They are accusing me of market manipulation,” Al Waleed said. “This is all wrong and a false statement. We will fight it all the way against Forbes.” He called the Forbes list “flawed and inaccurate”, saying that it “displays bias against Middle East investors and financial institutions.”
The Guardian reported that on 6 June 2013, Al Waleed had brought a defamation claim in London against the publisher of Forbes; its editor, Randall Lane, and two journalists from the magazine. Forbes expressed surprise at the libel action and the fact that it was filed in London. According to the magazine, “The Prince’s suit would be precisely the kind of libel tourism that the UK’s recently passed libel reform law is intended to thwart. We would anticipate that the London high court will agree. Forbes stands by its story.” As of 20 June, Forbes had not been served with papers.
A statement issued by the Kingdom Holding Company accused Forbes of publishing a “deliberately insulting and inaccurate description of the business community in Saudi Arabia and specifically, Forbes‘ denigration of the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul), which is one of the most regulated in the world”. According to Al Waleed, the magazine used an “irrational and deeply flawed valuation methodology, which is ultimately subjective and discriminatory”.
On 16 June 2015, Forbes and Al Waleed released a joint statement announcing that they had settled their dispute “on mutually agreeable terms”. The opening of the Saudi stock exchange to foreign investors was cited as key in the defendants’ willingness to consider the stock price of Al Waleed’s publicly traded Kingdom Holding Company in valuing the KHC component of his wealth.
Al Waleed tweeted a statement with a picture of himself holding an honorary Palestinian passport, “In response to the news of the visit to Israel: I have not and will not visit Jerusalem or pray inside it until its liberation from the Zionist enemy. And I carry an honorary Palestinian passport”.
In 2015, Al Waleed was criticised for offering to buy Bentley cars for Saudi fighter pilots involved in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. In a tweet later deleted, he said: “In appreciation of their role in this operation, I’m honoured to offer 100 Bentley cars to the 100 Saudi [fighter] pilots”.
In July 1997, Al Waleed invested $10 million with the Palestinian Investment and Development Company (PADICO), and then helped cofound the Jerusalem Development and Investment Company (JEDICO).
In 2002, Al Waleed donated $500,000 to help fund the George Herbert Walker Bush scholarship at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. and donated £18.5 million to Palestinian families during a TV telethon ordered by Saudi King Fahd to help relatives of Palestinians after Israeli operations in the West Bank city of Jenin. In 2004, he contributed $17 million to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
On 1 July 2015, Al Waleed held a press conference announcing his intention to donate $32 billion to philanthropic causes. He said that the funds would be used for humanitarian projects such as the empowerment of women and youth, disaster relief, disease eradication and building bridges of understanding between cultures.
Donation after 11 September attacks
After the 11 September attacks, Al Waleed gave a cheque for $10 million to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, despite Saudi opposition. In a written statement after his donation, Al Waleed said: “At times like this, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause.” As a result of that statement, Giuliani returned his cheque. Al Waleed said to a Saudi weekly magazine about Giuliani’s rejection of his check, “The whole issue is that I spoke about their position [on the Middle East conflict] and they didn’t like it because there are Jewish pressures and they are afraid of them.”
Giuliani replied to this by suggesting that Al Waleed’s comment was actually part of the problem: “There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it… And one of the reasons I think this happened is because people were engaged in moral equivalency in not understanding the difference between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone terrorism. So I think not only are those statements wrong, they’re part of the problem.”
In 2005, Al Waleed gave Georgetown University $20 million to create the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) in the university’s School of Foreign Service, the second largest donation in the school’s history. On 8 May 2008, Al Waleed gave £16 million to Edinburgh University to fund a “centre for the study of Islam in the contemporary world”. He has also endowed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR). The Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medical College is named for Al Waleed. The Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge and the Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University are also named after him. At his alma mater Syracuse University, Al Waleed is an honorary member of the advisory board of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
First Saudi female pilot
Al Waleed is considered a proponent of female emancipation in the Saudi world. He financed the training of Hanadi Zakaria al-Hindi as the first Saudi woman commercial airline pilot, and said at her graduation that he is “in full support of Saudi ladies working in all fields”. Al-Hindi became certified to fly within Saudi Arabia in 2014.
Al Waleed owns the 65th-largest private yacht in the world, the 85.9-metre (282 ft) Kingdom 5KR (originally built as the Nabila for Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi in 1979). In 1983, owned by Khashoggi, it appeared as the Flying Saucer (the yacht of James Bond‘s villain, Largo) in Never Say Never Again. It was sold to Donald Trump, who renamed her the Trump Princess. Al Waleed bought the yacht after Trump experienced financial problems in the late 1980s.
Al Waleed ordered a yacht known as the New Kingdom 5KR, about 173 metres (568 ft) long with an estimated cost of over $500 million. The yacht is designed by Lindsey Design, and its design was delivered in late 2010.
He owns several aircraft converted for private use: a Boeing 747, an Airbus 321 and a Hawker Siddeley 125. Al Waleed was the first individual to purchase an Airbus A380 and was due to take delivery of it in the spring of 2013, but it was sold before delivery.
Among his assets are a 95-percent stake in Kingdom Holding Company; 91-percent ownership of Rotana Video and Audio Visual Company; 90-percent ownership of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation; seven-percent ownership of News Corporation; about six-percent ownership of Citigroup, and a 17-percent ownership of Al Nahar and a 25-percent ownership of Ad-Diyar (two daily newspapers published in Lebanon). Al Waleed topped the first Saudi Rich List in 2009, with assets of $16.3 billion.
Al Waleed owns three palaces: two existing and a third under construction. The 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) Kingdom Palace, in central Riyadh, is his primary home. According to Time magazine, “Al Waleed lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in a $130 million sand-colored palace whose 317 rooms are adorned with 1,500 tons of Italian marble, silk oriental carpets, gold-plated faucets and 250 TVs. It has four kitchens, for Arabic, Continental and Asian cuisines, and a fifth just for dishing up desserts, run by chefs who can feed 2,000 people on an hour’s notice. There is also a lagoon-shaped pool and a 45-seat basement cinema”. The 500,000-square-foot (46,000 m2) Kingdom Resort, also in central Riyadh, has three lakes interspersed with gardens. The 4,000,000-square-foot (370,000 m2) Kingdom Oasis, under construction, will have a 70,000-square-metre (17-acre) lake and a private zoo.
Al Waleed received the first order of the Order of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia in 2002 and is a recipient of the Lebanese National Order of the Cedar. On 2 December 2009, he received the Order of Izzudin from Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed; that year he also received the Star of Palestine, the highest honour conferred by the State of Palestine. In 2010, Al Waleed received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Innovation. He received the Bahrain Medal of the First Order, the country’s highest honorary medal in late May 2012. He received the Nepalese third-order Mahaujjval Rastradip Manpadvi, the highest award bestowed on a foreigner, and Guinea-Bissau‘s Colina De Boe Medal in August 2012. In June 2013 Al Waleed was made Grand Commander of the Order of the Republic of Sierra Leone (GCRSL), the country’s highest honour. On 13 December 2014, he was made an Honorary Companion of the National Order of Merit of the Republic of Malta.