Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud was the one time King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.
From the hotel Incosol just outside Marbella, Fahd directed the construction of his Marbella property, Mar Mar Palace, modelled on the White House. Tales of excess and extravagance, of sex and shopping sprees, filled the pages of the world’s tabloid press.
Fahd was known as the King of Bling, the Sultan of Splendour. His personal wealth was estimated at Euro 25 billion and he was reputed to earn more in a minute that any monarch in history did in a year”.
He arrived at Malaga International Airport in his own customised Boeing-747. Its fittings included a solid gold toilet, gold cutlery and plates, and a gold throne. He turned up with his latest toy; a customised pen that could sign a cheque in gold ink. He also had the casino fountain gush only Cristal champagne while he was at the table.
His half brother King Khaled owned a private jet too. As he suffered from heart trouble he had an operating theatre installed so his doctors could perform open heart surgery in midair should this be necessary. When Queen Elizabeth visited King Khaled in 1979, he arranged a desert picnic for her with 50 lambs roasted on a spit, enormous silver dishes of lobster and a unicorn carved out of butter.
In 2005, Fahd’s health took a turn for the worse and he was back in Marabella.
When King Fahd last summered in here in 1999, he and his vast retinue spent €90m. Hoteliers, restaurateurs, jewellers and florists are waiting expectantly after estimates that the royal party will this time spend up to €6m (£4m) a day.
A local florist is to supply €1,500 of fresh flowers to the palace daily during the royal visit. Five hundred mobile phones have been ordered, the palace will receive 50 specially ordered cakes a day and a direct line of credit has been set up with the nearest branch of a leading department store, which is to remain open round the clock to satisfy instantly every royal whim. A plane will fly in weekly from Ryadh bringing the King water from Mecca, dates, lamb, rice and spices.
Another Saudi royal who loves a plane or two is Prince Alwaleed bin Tahal. He already had a Boeing 747 but added to his fleet an Airbus A380
In addition to a 70-inch flat screen, the dining room features cabinets (to the left and right of the table) that house 42-inch pop-up monitors.
Just a glimpse into how the really really really rich folk live……