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Ritz-Carlton to re-open after holding royals in Saudi purge

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Riyadh (AFP)

The Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, a holding place of royals and ministers detained in a sweeping Saudi corruption probe, will re-open for business in February, a source at the hotel said Monday.

The source, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to brief the press, said there were "preparations to open in February" but could not give further details.

The Ritz-Carlton website was listing rooms as available from February 14.

The hotel has been closed for bookings since early November, when more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen were rounded up in an anti-corruption purge.

Most of them have since been held at the palatial building.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old son of the king, has reportedly spearheaded the crackdown on corruption among members of the government and royal family, as he consolidates his grip on power in the kingdom.

The most high-profile target of the crackdown was billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.

The country's attorney general has said most of those detained struck monetary settlements in exchange for their freedom.

Authorities insist the purge aimed to target endemic corruption as Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

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