Whether you like it or not, we live in a capitalist world. And because of that, most of society is split into different categories, such as poor, middle class, rich, and extremely rich, and your spending power is fully dependent on which category you find yourself in. When you are insanely wealthy, it tends to mean that you are a billionaire, and when you have that kind of money, you can basically buy whatever your heart desires. There are only two real ways for someone to become a billionaire—either by actually earning the money through hard work or by being born into the right family. And sometimes, those families rule over entire countries.
If you have never heard of Brunei, then you are not alone because most people have no idea that it is a tiny country located on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, and it is currently ruled over by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The Sultan has sat on the throne for 50 years, making him the second longest reigning monarch in the world, and according to Forbes, he is one of the wealthiest individuals in the entire world. His net worth is believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 billion, thanks to his country being rich in both oil and natural gas, and he was once worth a lot more than that. However, thanks to his spending habits, he used up quite a bit of his fortune, and this article will showcase 15 of the things that he has bought using that fortune.
15 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR Roadster
Every single day, most of us get caught in some sort of traffic, and the main reason for that is because there are just so many cars on the road, which is not at all surprising seeing as it is usually faster to get around a city with a car. Most of us own at least one car. But if you happen to be a very wealthy individual, you will likely own multiple vehicles, and some of those vehicles might come with hefty price tags, like the Mercedes Benz CLK GTR Roadster, which were originally manufactured for motorsports.
Only about 25 of these cars were converted to be used on actual roads, and at one point, the Sultan owned two of them,
and they were not cheap as he had to pay over $1 million in order to temporarily add them to his collection.
14 Airbus A340-200
People have always loved to travel, and there are several ways to do that, like taking a train or a boat. But for many people, their preferred method of transportation is still the airplane. Although we receive some level of comfort on commercial flights, it is fair to assume that many of us have wondered what it would be like to own a private plane. However, the Sultan of Brunei does not have to think about owning a plane, as he owns several.
One of those planes is the Airbus A340-200,
which is decorated with the Sultan's logo and gold paint on the underbody, and the plane, which seats up to 200 people, comes with its own master bedroom and bathroom, as well as an on-board conference center, which would partly explain why he spent $87 million on it.
13 A Performance From Whitney Houston
So many people love to listen to music, either because the beats are great or because the lyrics are touching and greatly thought-provoking, and there have been many amazing singers over the decades. Whitney Houston is still one of the bestselling music artists of all time, and she sold all of those records by having a voice that literally comes around once in a generation. We lost Whitney in 2012, and it was truly a sad day, especially for those who were lucky enough to see her perform live, and the Sultan, who was a fan, was one of those lucky people.
In 1996, he invited Houston to perform in Brunei, and according to rumors, he gave her a blank check to fill out—
a check that is believed to have been valued at around $7 million.
12 His Badminton Coach (Spend $2 Million On)
We all do things in order to pass the time—things that allow us to take a brief reprieve from the grind of daily life. And although many young people now pass their time online, there are still many people who do so while being more active. The popular active pastimes are working out and playing some kind of sport, but in order to do them both properly, a lot of people seek the help of a coach/trainer. Being a coach in either of these fields can be very lucrative, especially if someone as rich as the Sultan of Brunei comes calling because when he has some spare time, he plays his favorite sport which is badminton. The sport is pretty easy, you just use a racquet to hit a shuttlecock over a net and hope that your opponent misses the return. But, the Sultan still wanted to be coached, which is why he once paid a man $2 million a year to coach him.
11 Millions Of Dollars On Gifts For His Family
Even if a person is not married and happens to not have any children, he/she will usually still have family members in his/her life who he/she loves and cares about, people who he/she wants to treat from time to time. The most common way to treat family members is by getting them a gift to show how much they mean to you, and no matter your economic standing, such gifts are generally meaningful and within your means. With that being said, though, when you are unfathomably rich, such gifts will be expensive. And when you are a multi-billionaire like the Sultan of Brunei, your gifts will be absurdly expensive.
On average, the Sultan spends at least $17 million every single year on gifts for his family,
and when you have 12 children and 14 grandchildren, you are looking at A LOT of gifts.
10 His 50th Birthday Party
We get older with every passing second. That's a fact that by itself deserves no sort of celebration because each and every one of us gets our own special day to celebrate getting older, and that is through our birthday. For most of us, our birthday includes a cake and some kind of get-together or party with our friends and family. And like many other things in life, the quality of such parties vary depending on how much money is spent on them. One of the biggest milestones in life is a person's 50th birthday. And for a man, it is especially significant. So when the Sultan celebrated his 50th, he made sure to go all out for his party.
The party was a two-week event that included a polo match, several concerts, and a large dinner filled with dignitaries and several celebrities, and it cost him $27 million
which, by today's standards, is around $40 million.
9 The St. John's Lodge
The Sultan and his younger brother had their legal disputes with one another, but that did not stop them from eventually reconciling. And what better way to show your younger sibling that everything is fine than by buying them a multimillion-dollar home? London is filled with large residences that were literally built for Lords, and St. John's Lodge is one of those residences. And as it stands now,
the property is worth roughly $146 million.
Although this looks like a single building, the lodge is actually made up of three buildings that are all connected, and only two of those buildings are considered to be the "main house" while the third home is briefly made open to the public during some parts of the year. By today's standards, the Sultan paid $105 million for his brother's home away from home.
8 Boeing 747-400
It was mentioned earlier that there are quite a few people who have thought about owning their own plane and that the Sultan of Brunei owns several, including the aforementioned Airbus A340-200. But, he also owns a Boeing 747-400. The Sultan loves to live in luxury, which would explain why he owns this plane because aside from the large on-board private office, it feels like you are flying in an actual palace.
This plane comes with its own living room, a master bedroom, and a master bathroom that comes with its own set of solid gold sinks.
The Sultan also had many of the other rooms upgraded in order for them to be equipped with modern facilities, and when you combine the cost of those upgrades with the actual cost of the plane, you get something in the neighborhood of $520 million.
7 His California Home
The film, television, and music industries have produced many celebrities over the decades, and since the hub of all those industries is in California, it makes sense that a lot of celebrities want to live there. That and the incredible weather, of course. Celebrities tend to have a lot of money, which is why they prefer to live in lavish homes that are also incredibly large, and California is filled with such homes, including one that was once owned by the Sultan of Brunei.
That mansion was built in 1927, and it comes with 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a large living room, a dining area, a dressing room, a library, and a modern gourmet kitchen, and it also has a 30-car garage and beautifully-landscaped gardens.
The Sultan ended up paying $38 million for this home, which he barely used as he rarely visits California.
6 A Concert Featuring Michael Jackson
Earlier, it was mentioned that the Sultan of Brunei once invited Whitney Houston to perform a concert in his country, but that is not the only musician to be invited to perform for the royal family. Elton John, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, and Tina Turner are just some of the names that have been invited by the Sultan, and he undoubtedly enjoyed those performances. However, none of them compared to Michael Jackson's 1996 concert. The late King of Pop is the Sultan's all-time favorite musician, so he did whatever it took to secure the concert,
which is why he paid Jackson more than $17 million.
Seeing as Jackson was 38 at the time and still technically in his prime, the two-and-a-half-hour-long show was definitely worth it, especially since the Sultan has so much money to spend.
5 $60 Million For Property In Las Vegas
A large part of Nevada is made up of a desert and semi-arid climate, which means that it does not have that much water, but that has not stopped the state from being home to one of America's most popular cities: Las Vegas. Thanks to all the high-end casinos and hotels in the city, there are some pretty pricey properties in the area, and one of those properties is an impressive mansion that the Sultan had built for his younger brother.
The Sultan ultimately paid just over $60 million to have the mansion built, but ended up selling it for roughly $37.5 million,
which was probably a bigger loss than he had expected seeing as the mansion comes with 17 bedrooms, its own parking lot, over 50 bathrooms, a separate spa and salon for men and women, a 1,000 person ballroom and its own discotheque, sushi bar and swan pond; and the property even has several other buildings that function as living spaces.
4 Asprey International Limited
Whether it is a ring, a bracelet, a pair of earrings, a necklace, or some other kind of shiny accessory, most of us have owned or bought at least one piece of jewelry, and as we all know, jewelry can be really expensive. Asprey International Limited is a U.K. company that designs, manufactures, and sells jewelry and silverware, and they are known for supplying the British Royal Family and other royals around the world with impeccable jewelry. Seeing as the Sultan and his family are indeed royalty, it should come as no surprise that he too bought jewelry from Asprey. In fact,
the family used to buy nearly $500 million worth of products from them each year.
Instead of spending that much every year, the Sultan decided to just buy the entire company, and in 1995 he did for $350 million.
3 His Official Residence
In the United States, the President lives in the White House while the Russian president resides in the Kremlin, and in the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister stays in 10 Downing Street. All of these official residences are impressive properties, just like every other head of state's residence, but none of them are as lavish as the Istana Nurul Iman, which serves as the Sultan's official residence. This massive living space is
the largest residential palace in the world and the largest single family residence ever built, and it comes equipped with 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, air-conditioned stables, 5 swimming pools, 18 elevators, a 5,000-seat banquet hall, and its own mosque.
The Sultan spent $400 million of his own money to build the palace which, by today's standards, is roughly $1.5 billion.
2 The Rest Of His Massive Car Collection
At the beginning of this list, it was mentioned that the Sultan owned two Mercedes Benz CLK GTR Roadsters at one point and that they were once a part of his collection. Well, now we will be talking about his current collection of cars. As of right now,
the Sultan has about 7,000 cars in his collection, and they are all considered to be some of the finest cars in the entire world.
In fact, he has so many cars in his garage that it would take an hour and a half to bring a car from the back of the garage to the front. Other than limousines, his collection includes at least 22 BMWs, 17 Audis, 94 Aston Martins, 6 Bugattis, 3 Ducattis, 405 Bentleys, and about 600 Mercedes. The garage even has its own Porshe and Lamborghini wings. All in all, the Sultan has spent nearly $5 billion on his collection.
1 $24,000 Haircuts
There are just some professions out there that will always be around, and one of those professions is the barber/hair stylist. The reasoning behind that statement is simple—everyone at some point has hair and that hair needs to get cut. It is true that you can cut your own hair or ask a family member to do it, but most people still decide to go pay someone to do it for them so that they can get their hair to look exactly the way they want it to. When you look at the Sultan of Brunei, you cannot help but notice that he has a pretty ordinary-looking haircut, but nothing is ordinary when it comes to this guy and his wallet.
The most that a normal person would spend on a haircut is around $50, but the Sultan pays $24.000 for his,
and that is just for the haircut. He also pays about $18,000 to make sure that his London-based barber is flown to Brunei in a private luxury cabin.