Some, particularly arab speakers, describe Prince Mohamed as extremely warm, while others, often foreigners, find him cold and brusque. In his efforts to advance the cause of the Salman clan, he is gradually imposing his own people. He has surrounded himself with people who have already been close to the clan for a long time, people like the Spanish-Saudi consultant, Mohamed Eyad Kayali and the head of his private office, Fahd Bin Mohammed Al Essa.

He has also made families which support the clan the kingdom’s key business partners. The Al Zamil family, owner of the Zamil Group, is increasingly coming to the fore as the key intermediary for Western companies in Saudi Arabia. In the same way, the Almabani General Contractors group headed by Lebanese national Nehme Tohme and Saleh Ali Al Turki’s Nesma conglomerate are to be found among the front runners for major contracts.

The prince is also at work furthering his family’s financial interests, allowing his brothers, Faisal Bin Salman and Turki Bin Salman, who control the Jadwa Investment and Tharawat Holding funds, to develop their companies’ influence. Faisal is also thought to still have partial control of Saudi Arabia’s biggest media group, Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG).

He is also looking to satisfy his own political and social ambitions. To improve his image, he set up in 2011 the MiSK Foundation, which aims to aid young Saudis. Thanks to his influence, the foundation has been able to establish partnerships with Harvard University and Boston Consulting Group.

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