As one of the Arab world’s most prominent figures, Prince Alwaleed is often asked his opinion on a myriad of social, cultural, and religious issues. This section details a selection of insights informed by a lifetime of study, experience, and travel.
How does Prince Alwaleed spend his time on the few occasions he is away from office? While he is well known for his personal wealth, people are sometimes surprised to learn how important the simple things in life are to him — for example, spending time with family, doting on his grandchildren, or simply exploring the outdoor life.
Family is of central importance throughout the Arab world, and Prince Alwaleed is no different in that respect. The Prince takes his responsibilities as a loving father, grandfather, and husband very seriously.
Prince Alwaleed has two children from his marriage to Princess Dalal — HRH Prince Khaled and HRH Princess Reem. Both of the Prince’s children are married and have two children of their own respectively. Prince Alwaleed is absolutely delighted by his grandchildren and makes special provisions in his schedule to ensure that he is able to spend time with them.
Sport is one of HRH’s greatest passions and he believes it is extremely important to keep fit and healthy. Indeed, Prince Alwaleed takes part in over 30 different sports — his favorites are walking, swimming, skiing, and cycling. HRH also enjoys team sports such as volleyball and basketball. When the Prince is working in Saudi Arabia, his schedule only permits an hour to enjoy sport every day although on vacation he can indulge his love of sport for up to three hours at a time. Prince Alwaleed also loves to experience the desert in all the different seasons of the year.
Traveling is very important to Prince Alwaleed who love to meet people and experience new cultures. The Prince considers travel to have broadened his personal outlook greatly. Outside of Riyadh, Prince Alwaleed loves touring and has visited over 150 countries across all five continents. He is especially fond of Paris where he has many friends and investments including the George V Hotel, his home away from home in Europe. Prince Alwaleed regards George V to be the world’s finest hotel — so much so that he decided to buy it! Having procured the hotel with Kingdom Holding Company, Prince Alwaleed arranged for the George V to be extensively refurbished to protect the wonderful history and original character of the building for future generations to enjoy.
Prince Alwaleed enjoys improving his knowledge by researching and studying new subjects, particularly history and politics. The Prince has established an extensive personal library of texts on this subject and is a keen student of world history, holding a special interest in the history of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Prince Alwaleed believes that the two World Wars hold particular significance to the modern world and has studied both extensively to learn the lessons of these terrible conflicts.
The Prince keeps careful notes on the books he reads — a habit that began during his academic studies — and always makes a one-page summary of what he has learned to add to his files. When interested in a particular subject, he likes to read several books on the topic before forming his own opinions on the basis that the sum of knowledge is greater than any one account. Alongside his esteemed grandfathers, Prince Alwaleed is a particular admirer of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.