`If There's Anything I Hate, It's Fat'

Alwaleed bin Talal may relish the role of the modern, global business executive who hashes out late-night, multimillion-dollar deals with such luminaries as Chairman Michael D. Eisner of Walt Disney Co. But above all, he's a prince of the royal house of Saud. I see just how much this means the moment we touch down at Riyadh airport in his private beige-and-green Boeing 727. The plane taxis to a corner of the tarmac, where a fleet of shiny black limousines is waiting, alongside dozens of family retainers. When Prince Alwaleed descends from the plane, each one of them comes forward and kisses the prince's right shoulder--a traditional Bedouin sign of respect. Then, the motorcade speeds off into the Arabian night: There is no passport check, no lost luggage, no waiting around for a lift.

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