Mishaal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

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Mishaal bin Abdulaziz
Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa'di and Mishaal bin Abdulaziz.jpg
Mishaal first from the right
Chairman of the Allegiance Council
In office 2007–present
Predecessor Office established
Monarch King Abdullah
Governor of Makkah Province
In office 1963–1971
Predecessor Abdullah bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Successor Fawwaz bin Abdulaziz
Monarch King Saud
King Faisal
Minister of Defense
In office 1951–1953
Predecessor Mansour bin Abdulaziz
Successor Fahad bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Monarch King Abdulaziz
King Saud
Full name
Mishaal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
House House of Saud
Father King Abdulaziz
Mother Shahida
Born 1926 (age 88–89)
Religion Islam

Mishaal bin Abdulaziz (born 1926) is chairman of the Allegiance Council and a senior member of the House of Saud. He held different cabinet posts in the 1950s.

Early life[edit]

Prince Mishaal was born in Riyadh in 1926.[1] He is the thirteenth son of King Abdulaziz.[2]

He is the full brother of late Prince Mansour, Prince Mutaib and Princess Qumash who died on 26 September 2011.[3] Their mother was an Armenian, Shahida (died 1938),[4] who reportedly was favorite wife of King Abdulaziz.[5][6]


Prince Mishaal served as the minister of defense from 12 May 1951 to 1953.[7][8] He replaced his full brother Prince Mansour as minister of defense when he died of alcohol poisoning after a party hosted by then-Riyadh governor Nasser bin Abdulaziz in 1951.[9] Until that date, Prince Mishaal served as deputy minister of defense. When he became minister, his full younger brother Prince Mutaib was appointed his deputy.[5][10] As minister of defense, he became one of the most affluent princes in the Al Saud. He bought state land for very cheap prices and yielded extraordinary profits. His manner was reported as serious, quiet, and dignified. But because of his lack of education and experience, Prince Mishaal let the ministry remain completely unorganized. He leaned heavily on advice and recommendation from foreign counsel.[10] He wielded significant influence in King Abdulaziz's government.[10] Because of Mishaal's considerable power, King Abdulaziz countered his influence by appointing Abdullah bin Faisal as minister of health and interior.[10]

At the same time, King Abdulaziz established the ministry of air force under Prince Mishaal to prevent flight-related matters from going under Prince Talal, the then minister of communication.[10] Since Mishaal and Talal could not agree, Saudi Arabia was to have two airline fleets.[10] But in April 1955, Prince Talal resigned and the ministry of communication was merged with ministry of finance.[10] In May 1955, King Saud created a renewed modern National Guard. This was led by Saud's son Prince Khalid who replaced a commoner.[10] This move weakened Prince Mishaal because he had often used the old National Guard's resources.[10]

Other positions[edit]

Mishal and his full-brother Mutaib were ousted from the office under King Saud but they got again official power in 1963 by King Faisal who entrusted them the key governorship and deputy governorship, respectively. Specifically, he served as Governor of Makkah Province[2] from 1963 to 1971. Interestingly, both Mishal and Mutaib resigned from their posts in 1971 for reasons that are not entirely clear.[5] Prince Mishaal was appointed chairman of the Allegiance Council on 10 December 2007.[11]

Succession to the throne[edit]

Mishaal bin Abdulaziz protested more than once that he should have been crown prince since he served as both a governor and a minister and is older than some of his brothers. However, he was well offered for his birthright. It is not an accidental event that his firm, Mishaal International, along with its German and Chinese partners, is the leading contender to build much of the Kingdom's new multi-billion dollar railway system.[9] On the other hand, it is argued that he was immediately excluded from the competition by Sudairi brothers.[2]


Mishaal bin Abdulaziz had no official position for decades until his appointment as Chairman of the Allegiance Council. He devoted himself extensively to business interests and camel racing and breeding. However, he enjoyed a key role in the family hierarchy. He holds almost equal seniority to the king and crown prince. He has been impartial in family politics, although he is known to incline towards King Abdallah or be one of King Abdullah's close allies.[2] His neutral stance made him the perfect choice to be the chairman of the Allegiance Council. This role is considered to be a significant position, giving him influence in the decision-making process in regard to succession.[12]

Business activities[edit]

Mishaal bin Abdulaziz is a leading businessman, with substantial investments in real estate, insurance, electrical utilities, oil trading and cement manufacture.

He is founder of Al Shoula Group, which is a major investor in real estate developments throughout the Middle East partnering with such investors as Dubai's Emaar Group, Kuwait's Bayt Al Mal Investment Company, and the Al Rajhi family's Tameer Group. Al Shoula's wholly owned subsidiary, Dhahran Global, is active in broad areas of the petroleum and petrochemical industry including pipeline development, oil and gas production, oilfield services and international product trading.[13] CEO of Al Shoula Group is his son Prince Abdulaziz.[13]

Prince Mishaal is also chairman of board of Yanbu Cement company, established in 1976.[14]


In October 2009, Mishaal bin Abdulaziz was rushed to hospital in Geneva, apparently having suffered a stroke.[12] Then, he returned to Saudi Arabia from unspecified medical treatment in Beirut in December 2009.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Mishaal bin Abdulaziz is the father of Faisal, Mohammed, Mansour, Abdulaziz, Turki, Khaled, Bandar, Saud, Sultan, Alanoud, Mishael, Madawi, Hessah, Nouf, Noura, Sara, Maha and Loulwah.

Prince Mishaal is younger than Prince Bandar who is a surviving son of King Abdulaziz.

He is a supporter of the traditional camel racing and horse racing, and has valuable racing camels and horses. Each year, he patronizes camel races in the kingdom. He also deals with traditional falconry.[15][better source needed]



  1. ^ "The Allegiance Council". APS Diplomat News Service. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Mouline, Nabil (April–June 2012). "Power and generational transition in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Critique Internationale 46: 1–22. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques performs funeral prayer on the soul of Princess Gumash bint Abdulaziz". Riyadh Municipality. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Biography of Shahida". Datarabia. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Kechichian, Joseph A. (2001). Succession in Saudi Arabia. New York City: Palgrave. 
  6. ^ Henderson, Simon (August 2009). "After King Abdullah" (Policy Paper). Washington Institute. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Land Forces History". Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF). Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Kapoor, Talal (8 June 2012). "Nayif's Departure: Spring Cleaning in The Royal Court?". Datarabia. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "The new successıon law preserves the monarchy". Wikileaks. 22 November 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i S. Hertog (23 February 2011). Princes Brokers and Bureaucrats. Cornell University Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8014-5753-1. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Prince Mishaal to head Allegiance Commission: Saudi launches royal succession committee". Al Arabiya. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Kapoor, Talal (7 July 2010). "Briefing: Prince Mish'al's Health Condition". Datarabia. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Al Shoula Group". Dhahran Global Company. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "History". Yanbu Cement Company. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Mischal ibn Abd al-Aziz". Wikipedia (German). Retrieved 14 April 2012. 

External links[edit]