Friday marked the start of King Abdullah’s birthday celebrations. However, the king was dealt a less-than-happiness birthday gift when it was discovered that he was building another palace in Amman. In addition to the palace of 400 rooms, the palace will include a tennis court, a theme park, a wedding and vacation home and “hundreds of others,” according to the Washington Post. The king added half a billion dollars in housing additions on top of the previous $1.6 billion in housing projects launched around 2000, according to a Washington Post report.
“The problem was exacerbated by the fact that, as the public increasingly faced disinvestment and job losses, the family in its quest for personal luxury sought to extend its money to the remaining necessities, with an expansion of the airport, expansion of government offices, construction of a palatial new palace and modernization of the Grand Mufti’s residence,” the Washington Post reported.
“An investment — major!” This is the new proposed palace, on Villa al-Majaï that has been proposed as the third home of the outgoing Saudi monarch. It’ll be the largest house built in the country since it was founded (464 rooms) pic.twitter.com/IxC5M4WpEg — Ahmad Hadi (@AhmadHadiJr) August 9, 2016
King Abdullah has installed a home with a swimming pool overlooking the Red Sea for himself and his entire family, as well as several guesthouses for those who visited him. Jordan’s king is a guest of no small feat with a net worth $19.4 billion, according to the Hurun report, which tracks billionaires in China and China-controlled companies. He lives comfortably with wealth derived from oil, exports and from the family’s wealth invested in Turkey, according to Hurun. Saudi Arabia contributes the majority of his annual income. The king bought a more than $50 million dollar villa in Laguna Vista, California, and reportedly has a $75 million multi-bedroom home in Jordan. Saudi Arabia contributed more than half of the items he owns, including furs and another $10 million made up of tea, vegetables and livestock that he imported, according to Hurun.
Saudi King Abdullah orders US to pull almost £18.9 million ($30 million) out of Iraqi and Afghan aid to President Trump’s Israel and anti-poverty organisations — Sherin Zabih (@SherinZabih) August 10, 2016
A team of Saudi government scientists have been funding a project to combat tuberculosis with technology that they developed, according to the Washington Post.
While Canada was sending humanitarian aid to Jordan, the world’s most recognized Arab leader in the twilight of his reign is building another palace, while building an empire from the ground up that is far smaller than those of his Arab predecessors.