|Biographical detail : ||Businessman billionaire Saudi prince.
Al-Waleed bin Talal grandson of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Saudi state, is emerging on the political scene in Saudi Arabia while continuing to lead his investment company, Kingdom Holding.
One of the richest men in the world, al-Waleed is also one of the most creative and successful men. His global empire comprises investments in many of world’s large Companies producing world brand goods and services, including stakes in Citigroup and News Corporation. In 2010 he is estimated to be worth $19.4bn, according to Forbes Magazine.
Al-Waleed a progressive Arab voice in the Middle East has a reputation for intelligence and relentless work. He offered a $10m payment to New York City after September 11, which the then mayor Rudolph Giuliani turned down, but paid a similar sum to the American University in Cairo to support cross-cultural American-Arab studies.
To help raise the profile of Islamic history and culture around the world al-Waleed has donated $40m to underwrite Islamic Studies at Harvard and Georgetown and helped fund the construction of an Islamic wing at the Louvre in Paris.
Al-Waleed bin Talal, who parted with a reported $200m as charity, in 1996, $25m to tsunami and earthquake victims, is said to be the biggest single contributor to Palestinian causes and, at the same time, he is the largest single international investor in New York – bridging the subtle gaps. In the mid-1990s, he bailed out Citigroup when no one would step in – including Americans.
A charming man with a wonderful sense of humour al-Waleed shows good business can unite the most diverse of cultures and nations.