On the Paris trip, the Saudi crown prince lives in the “world’s most expensive home” – a castle built by Jamal Khashoggi’s cousin

On the Paris trip, the Saudi crown prince lives in the “world’s most expensive home” – a castle built by Jamal Khashoggi’s cousin

During his trip to France to meet President Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is living in a lavish palace that was dubbed “the world’s most expensive home” when he bought it in 2015.

Chateau Louis XIV in Louveciennes outside Paris is a newly built mansion intended to emulate the extravagant luxury of the nearby Palace of Versailles, once the seat of the French royal family.

The 7,000 square meter property was purchased by an undisclosed buyer in 2015 for 275 million euros ($300 million at the time), leading Fortune magazine to call it “the world’s most expensive home.”

FRANCE-SAUDI-DIPLOMACY-POLITICS
French police officers and mounted police stand guard outside the gate of Chateau Louis XIV belonging to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in Louveciennes outside Paris on July 28, 2022.

JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP via Getty Images


Bin Salman, 36, was reported two years later by The New York Times to be the ultimate owner via a series of shell companies.

Local authorities confirmed to AFP that the controversial heir to the Saudi throne was staying at the property ahead of the dinner with Macron later on Thursday.

Reporters outside the perimeter wall saw security personnel in suits guarding the entrance and a large police presence, including half a dozen vehicles.

Macron and bin Salman were due to meet at the more modest Elysee presidential palace later Thursday for talks that critics in France see as inappropriate.

Bin Salman was convicted by US intelligence of approving brutal murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

But after four years as an international pariah, the prince is being courted by Western leaders again as they urgently seek fresh energy supplies to replace lost Russian output.

In a twist of history, Chateau Louis XIV was built by Khashoggi’s cousin Emad Khashoggi who runs a luxury property development business in France.

The castle has a nightclub, a gold fountain, a cinema, as well as an underwater glass chamber in the moat that resembles a giant aquarium with white leather sofas.

Pictures on the website of Emad Khashoggi’s company, Cogemad, also show a wine cellar, although alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia.

FRANCE-SAUDI-POLITICS-PROPERTY
This photo taken on December 22, 2017 shows Chateau Louis XIV in Louveciennes.

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images


Chateau Louis XIV was built in 2009 after a 19th-century castle on the site was bulldozed.

Bin Salman’s extravagant spending since becoming the main power broker in Saudi Arabia has repeatedly made headlines.

The son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud bought a $500 million yacht in 2015 and was also reported to be the mystery buyer of a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci painting in 2017.

The latter purchase has been officially denied.

In an interview with 60 minutesBin Salman said he had no need to apologize for a lavish lifestyle.

“I am a rich person and not a poor person. I am not Gandhi or [Nelson] Mandela,” he said. “I am a member of the ruling family that existed for hundreds of years before the founding of Saudi Arabia.”

He also said that he spends a large part of his fortune on charity.

“I spend at least 51 percent on people and 49 on myself,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.