Wild lifestyle of Young Arab Multi Millionaires Abroad
The death of Sheikh Rashid, eldest son of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed, has shone a light on the high-spending, party-mad lifestyles of Arab playboys like him.
Did Majed Abulaziz al-Saud, a 28-year-old Saudi prince, sexually accost five women at a Beverly Hills compound, as police are now investigating, and which The Daily Beast reported Friday? This scandal broke following the end of another reportedly scandalous life. Monday in Dubai marked the end of the official grieving period for Sheikh Rashid, the fast-living eldest son of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.
Rashid died, age 33, of a heart attack on September 19, according to the official account.
The royal family of the oil-rich emirate will no doubt be hoping that the conclusion of the mourning period will bring down the curtain. For many years speculation ran rampant that the charming and glamorous Prince Rashid, who lived a glittering life amply accessorized with racehorses, fast cars, and beautiful women, was a persistent drug abuser and sex addict.
In the UAE, the prince’s death has been greeted with hagiographic official obituaries.
In the West, however, the demise of Rashid has cast a rare beam of light on the secret world of the Arab playboys who flock every summer to escape the intense heat of the Middle East, and spend vast amounts of money on Western debaucheries.
The alleged behavior of some of these Arab princelings was highlighted again on Friday, after Majed Abdulaziz al-Saud was reportedly accused of attempting to force an employee to give him oral sex, before more reports of him sexually accosting five women surfaced.
This came just weeks after Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar’s ruling family fled the U.S. after being accused of drag racing his yellow Ferrari through LA while staying at the Beverly Wilshire hotel.
In London, citizens are well used to this nonsense. The influx of oil-rich millionaires to the city has become an annual summer ritual, the most notable signifier of which are the serried ranks of gaudy customized luxury cars—gold-plated Range Rover, anyone?—parked outside landmarks like the Dorchester Hotel, Claridges, and Harrods.
The playboys, from oil-rich countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, fly the prized vehicles to London for the season, at a cost of around $30,000.
Indeed, Qatar Airways gives over entire jets to the transport of cars to and from the Middle East in the summer.
“It is utterly bizarre,” says one London-based aristocrat. “You can still get a table for tea at Claridges in July, but it is absolutely full of Arabs. I am quite often the only English person there.”
Daniel Hallworth, a fixer who specializes in the temporary importation of cars to Europe for Arab clients, says the playboys who descend on London each summer are extremely rich and, although keen to flaunt their wealth, are also very private.
Most of these guys are aged between 21 and 25, and there is serious oil money back home. They come to London to let their hair down, because life back home is actually very strict and quite dull. They don’t get to fly around and do crazy things. They come over here for the summer to have fun before they go back home and get married.
“We fly the cars to Heathrow, and get them put on temporary import. They usually come to London in July, and how long they stay depends on the weather. If it is raining a lot, like it was this year, they’ll get bored and head on to the South of France after a couple of weeks.”
Hallworth describes the playboys as demanding clients to deal with: “Anything they want done it has to be done now—tomorrow is no good.