His barber flies out of London to give him a $20,000 haircut – The sultan of Brunei’s ridiculously luxurious life that makes the oligarchs look poor – His 1,700-room palace dwarfs Buckingham Palace, he flies in a gold-plated Boeing 747 and owns a fleet of 7,000 cars.
He was once the richest person in the world and currently has an estimated net worth of around US$28 billion. The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is also the country’s prime minister.
The sultan is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (the same one attended by Princes William and Harry) and is known for his extravagant spending. From his love of gold (even his sinks are made of the material) to his barber from the UK to Brunei making sure his locks are in order, the Sultan has never been afraid to drop some gold. huge sums of money, even basic necessities.
Here are some of the Sultan’s past follies that will blow your mind.
The golden Rolls-Royce
According to GQ India, the Sultan has one of the largest collections of rare cars in the world. The collection includes an impressive golden Rolls-Royce, photos of which have gone viral. The custom-made luxury car has an open roof and a platform for an umbrella. According to GQ India, the car is covered in gold from the grilles to its tires.
A few hundred Ferraris
Hotcars reported that the Sultan owned 600 Rolls-Royces, 450 Ferraris and 380 Bentleys. His collection is worth more than US$5 billion, according to the same website, and includes more than 7,000 vehicles in total. Apart from the aforementioned Rolls-Royces, it also includes many rare finds, which makes its stash even more enviable. These include a gray Lamborghini Urraco, a Ferrari 456 GT Venice (one of seven in the world) and a Porsche 959. In fact, his car collection is so impressive that, according to GQ, the Sultan and his family were believed to be behind half of all Rolls-Royces purchased worldwide during the 1990s.
This private jet life
When you have gold cars with an umbrella rig, you can bet the private jets will be jaw-dropping too. A Born Rich report claimed the Sultan had his own Boeing 747-400, Boeing 767-200 and Airbus A340-200.
A look inside the Sultan of Brunei’s private jet – Dubbed the ‘Flying Palace’ https://t.co/NLI208I9MA
— Aviation Humor (@AviationHumor) February 22, 2022
The Boeing 747-400 is gold-plated and so luxurious it’s been dubbed the “Flying Palace.” Instagram photos show the interior decked out in gold and Lalique crystal.
According to British media, the plane cost $400 million. He would also have offered his daughter an Airbus A340 for her birthday.
The palace with 1700 rooms
The Istana Nurul Iman Palace is the epitome of extravagance with more than 1,700 rooms, 257 bathrooms and five swimming pools, according to GQ India. The sultan is said to have 110 garages on the property to house this crazy collection of cars, and he also loves horses. He had special air-conditioned stables built to ensure his horses were well cared for and in the best possible condition.
The Istana Nurul Iman Palace currently holds the title of the largest residential palace in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records, defined as it spans 200,000 square meters. According to records, the palace was completed in 1984 and cost US$1.4 billion to build.
The expensive haircut
The Times reported that the Sultan spared no cost when it came to grooming, dropping US$20,000 per haircut. The British newspaper claims he regularly flies his favorite barber – from the Dorchester Hotel in London’s Mayfair – first class to Brunei to do his thing. The Times report claimed that the barber was also paid in cash each time.
A love of art
The sultan also has a penchant for art and, according to Insider, paid $70 million for a single oil painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Young Girls at the Piano. According to Arthive, Renoir painted the picture during his “enthusiastic” or “pearl” period.
To note: This story originally appeared on SCMP and has been reposted on this website.