The House of Saud is nothing but another term for the ruling Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. The family consists of approximately 15,000 members, and among them, 2000 members are considered to possess more wealth and power. The family members are the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, and the family is one of the wealthiest families in the world. Let us have a look at the evolution of the family, covering briefly at its three phases and the net worth of the House of Saud in 2018.
The First Saudi State – Emirate of Diriyah
In 1744 Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, a religious leader and theologian and Muhammad ibn Saud, chief of an agricultural settlement in Diriyah founded a socio-religious reform movement against the Ottoman Empire and succeeded in it by uniting different states of the Arabian Peninsula. Muhammad bin Saud got his son married to Muhammad bin Abd Al Wahab’s daughter, and the two sealed a pact that their descendants would rule the state which is being followed till date.
The Second Saudi State – Emirate of Nejd
The First Saudi State was brought down by the Ottoman Empire’s Egypt Eyalet in the Ottoman-Wahhabi War from 1811 to 1818. The grandson of Muhammad bin Saud, Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad waged a battle against the Egyptian forces in 1824 and liberated Diriyah from them. This time the Saudi rule extended to eastern and central Arabia and made Nejd the capital place of the kingdom.
The Third Saudi State – Present Saudi Arabia
In 1891 the Al Rashid dynasty waged war upon Nejd and emerged victorious which threw the Al Saud family to exile in Kuwait. Once again the Ottoman Empire started to rule most of the Arabian Peninsula whereas corresponding tribal rulers ruled the Sharif of Mecca ruled the other parts of the peninsula and Hejaz.
The son of Abdul Rahman, Abdul Aziz aka Ibn Saud recaptured Riyadh in 1902 which brought Al Saud back to Nejd. Ibn Saud got the support of the tribal army Ikhwan and captured Al-Ahsa in 1913 from the Ottoman Empire. He did not participate in the Arab revolt from 1916 to 1918 which resulted in the exit of the Ottomans, but with the help of Ikhwan he captured Hejaz and started to rule both Nejd and Hejaz as separate kingdoms. The Ikhwan turned against Ibn Saud after some years which ended in their defeat to Al Saud in 1929. The kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd were united to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on September 23, 1932, which is still celebrated as the Saudi National Day.
Net Worth & Earnings
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s net worth was estimated to be $20.4 billion in 2014 which rose to $28 billion in 2015 ranking him as the 34th richest man in the world by Forbes. The net worth of the king of Saudi Arabia is reported to be $17 billion, and the net worth of the entire family is estimated to be $1.5 trillion.
The agnatic seniority practice for the succession of the throne came to an end in 2006, when a royal decree was passed saying that a committee of Saudi Princes would elect the future kings.