The young crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman
So here’s what we know about the powerful 32-year-old Crown Prince who could reshape the Middle East:
Prince Mohammed obtained a law degree from King Saudi University in Riyadh and has held various advisory roles for his father. “It was obvious to me that he was planning his future – he was always very concerned about his image,” said a family associate at the New York Times, mentioning that Prince Mohammed does not smoke, drink alcohol or go out late at night.
Prince Mohammed made international media headlines in January 2015 when he became Minister of Defence for King Salmane after his father acceded to the throne following the death of King Abdullah. He was 29 years old when he got the job. Now at 32 years of age, Prince Mohammed is the youngest Minister of Defence in the world.
In 2016, the Crown Prince announced a long-term economic plan, called Vision 2030, to eliminate economic dependence on oil. More recently, in October, it announced a $500 billion megacity that will be powered entirely by renewable energy, called NEOM.
Prince Mohammed made headlines recently for intervening in the culture wars in Saudi Arabia, calling for a “more moderate Islam”. He has been the initiator of the key decision to allow Saudi women to drive.