The princes and businessmen were held in the capital for months, albeit in the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel. They were arrested for alleged corruption, and have been freed over the past few days, after reportedly giving in to certain demands.
One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent businessmen was among them – Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal. The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, also the First Deputy Prime Minister, has been the driving force behind the arrests. He has big plans for his country, which he calls the Saudi Vision 2030.
MBS – as he’s known – wants to reduce Saudi dependence on oil by diversifying its economy, and develop public service sectors including health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism. He has also pushed for social reforms, allowing women to drive, and opening up movie theatres for the first time in almost 40 years.
So was the crackdown only about money or was there something else?
Presenter: Richelle Carey
Sami Hamdi, Editor in Chief of The International Interest
Joseph Kechichian, Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies
Pierre Conesa, lecturer at the Paris Institute of Political Studies
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