Former owner of Fairmont hotels held in 5-star jail
Thursday, Nov 09, 2017 06:00 am
Saudi Arabia authorities have arrested the former owner of Fairmont’s hotels in what the international media is calling an internal palace struggle.
Al-Waleed bin Talal, owner of the Kingdom Holding Group, which at one time held the Fairmont brand under its Kingdom Hotels Investments holding company, was arrested in what Saudi officials have described as a crackdown on corruption in the Islamic kingdom.
Forbes and Bloomberg have estimated that Al-Waleed is the richest man in the Arab world with a net worth of nearly $40 billion.
A number of other prominent Saudi princes and business leaders have also been swept up in the arrests.
A video purported to have been taken on Friday (Nov. 3) shows these men under armed guard being held at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
Kingdom Hotels Investments purchased a majority shareholder stake in Fairmont in 2006, before divesting of a third of its shares in 2010.
The Banff Springs hotel and the Chateau Lake Louise are both Fairmont hotels.
AccorHotels, a French hotel group, purchased Fairmont in 2015.