Saudi Arabia’s MBS: An unlikely prince among the thousands

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Inside the rise of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman

By Amélie Zaccour
Posted on Tuesday, 9 February 2021 20:06, updated on Thursday, 11 February 2021 20:07

MBS on the left as a child © DR

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has become one of the most powerful leaders in the Arab world. In the second part of our series, we look back at his childhood.

This is part 2 of a 6-part series.

Nothing ever indicated that the young prince, far back in the line of succession and looked down on by his older half-brothers, would someday become the most powerful man in the Saudi kingdom. But he came to be his father’s favourite son. Here’s how.

Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) grew up in magnificent palaces, surrounded by servants, drivers and private tutors – nothing out of the ordinary for a member of the Saudi royal family, also known as the House of Saud.

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Saudi Arabia’s MBS: How the crown prince got his start in business

Mohammed bin Salman realised very early on that he would need a great deal of money if he wanted to have any political sway in the Saudi kingdom. Accordingly, he decided to throw himself into the business world in his own bold, rough and tumble way." In the third part of our series, we look at how the teen MBS veered onto a new path.

Saudi Arabia: How MBS deposed his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince

Touted as Saudi Arabia’s “prince of counterterrorism”, Mohammed bin Nayef was named crown prince in 2015. His young cousin, Mohammed bin Salman, devised a way to strip him of his title and oust him from the throne. In the fourth part of our series, we look at the events that foreshadowed his cousin's fall.

Saudi Arabia: Yachts, top models, Pitbull concert – MBS’s penchant for the good life

Between 2015 and 2017, Mohammed bin Salman spent a cool $1.18bn on an array of prestige purchases. In the fifth part of our series, we look at the Crown Prince's penchant for extravagance.

How Saudi Arabia’s MBS conquered Twitter and upped his online game

Big into social media, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman has become an expert at wielding Twitter to consolidate his popularity, squash his critics and manipulate the conversation. In this final part of our series, we look at how he conquered social media.