Crown Prince Salman of Saudi Arabia is in the eye of the world, as he cracks down on corruption. The crackdown and arrest of 38 prominent citizens including 11 princes belonging to the royal family is news enough, but now these men are being held in the famous Ritz-Carlton hotel, which has been converted to a jail. In India and the UK, a magistrate can designate any place, such as a guest house, as a sub-jail, but one has never heard of a luxury hotel being designated as a jail. This is a first anywhere in the world.


The Ritz-Carlton is the top luxury hotel in Riyadh and spreads over 52 acres.

The hotel has played host to presidents and prime ministers, such as Donald Trump and Obama in 2014. This grand opulent hotel, also recently hosted the Davos in the Desert, a conference on investment which was attended by 3500 guests.

Now, this luxury hotel has been converted to a prison and the detained Saudi princes and businessmen accused of corruption are held here.

Arrested businessmen and princes

Not much news has filtered out from inside the hotel as the hotel management has announced that internet services and telephone contacts are suspended. Nonetheless, there is an eyewitness account released to the media of a shaky video that shows many of the prisoners being held in the ornate conference and ballroom hall.

There are some shots of rifles and one can see that for the inmates used to a life of luxury, jetting off at a moments notice to New York, London, and Mumbai, it must be an ordeal.

The incarcerated princes and businessmen are barred from flying anywhere, as interrogators investigate the finances and corrupt practices they may have indulged in.

Crown Prince Salman has already appointed a corruption committee to oversee all corruption cases. It appears hundreds are arrested though only the 38 prominent ones are held in the Ritz in what has become their own gilded cage. Among the arrested is global businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.


The prince has chosen the hotel as a sub-jail so that the interrogations can be done secretly.

The Saudi Attorney- General, Sheikh Saud al Mujib has confirmed that the detainees are being interrogated.

There are many who feel that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has simply used the bogey of corruption to strengthen his grip on the country. Whatever it may be the fact is he is fully in control and has shaken up the Saudi kingdom as never before.