He is the mysterious playboy owner of the fleet of golden supercars worth millions, is a close friend of American rapper Dr Dre and stays in only the most luxurious hotels the world’s richest cities have to offer.
Since arriving in London in March Saudi billionaire Turki Bin Abdullah, 23, has made headlines for the extravagant – and some say gaudy – display of wealth which includes a custom £350,000 Aventador, a £370,000 six-wheeler Mercedes AMG off-roader, a £350,000 Rolls Phantom Coupe, a £220,000 Bentley Flying Spur and a £180,000 Lamborghini Huracan — all painted a uniform shade of gold and imported from the Middle East.
He and his entourage are regularly spotted cruising around the affluent streets of West London, where even among the cars of the super wealthy his golden fleet sticks out like a sore thumb.
Various reports have described him as a wealthy sheik, an Arab playboy, a Saudi Prince and a businessman. But no one seems to know exactly who he is, what he does or what he is worth.
Online there are hints that he is linked to the Saudi royal family – the House of Saud – on his mother’s side, but no English language media outlets have been able to definitively confirm this rumour.
So who exactly is Turki Bin Abdullah?
MailOnline exclusively met him to find out – although he proved rather elusive to pin down.
But even when we did manage to finally track him down he was reluctant to reveal any sort of personal information, although he was happy to talk about his cars, which he described as his ‘passion.’
We did, however, discover that he is surprisingly shy for one so ostentatious; that he freely admits he is bankrolled by his father, who ‘buys me what I want’, although he is setting up his own yet-to-be revealed business; he is friends with Canadian rapper Drake and American rap legend Dr Dre, who is personally designing him a pair of one-of-a-kind solid gold Beats By Dr Dre headphones; and, rather sweetly, he counts his mother as his most treasured possession.
He also revealed his first ever car was a Porsche 911 and that he customises each of his cars, spending hundreds of thousands on each vehicle to have to covered in gold vinyl as it is his favourite – and lucky – colour.
And Bin Abdullah is clearly generous – he tips parking attendants £50 a time and hands out designer goods to his friends like sweets.
We arranged to meet Bin Abdullah at The Mall, close to Buckingham Palace, at the spot where rich Londoners like to see and be seen in their luxury cars on the weekend.
Despite it being a Saturday, which meant the tourist hotspot was crawling with visitors, we did not have any difficulty in spotting the entourage as they made a head-turning arrival in the bright gold Bentley and Mercedes AMG off-roader.
After several minutes the doors of the Mercedes opened and Bin Abdullah’s entourage poured out, a group including his PR man, his security detail and some friends.
They then surrounded the Bentley and, finally, the star of the show himself stepped out. Bin Abdullah was not what we were expecting. Diminutive and baby cheeked he stepped out of the vehicle and shyly shook our hands while his entourage attempted to hold back the crowd of interested passers-by.
Despite his taste for the eye-catching the 23-year-old clearly did not relish being the centre of everyone’s attention. Some of the people in the growing crowd had begun shoving one another in order to get a better look at the circus which was unfolding before us.
All of a sudden Bin Abdullah bolted, walking quickly away from the cars while talking on his phone.
His security team nodded at us to follow so we dutifully wandered over to a quiet spot where we were told the interview had to be moved as there were ‘too many people around’.
We were told to hop in a taxi and to meet Bin Abdullah at London’s opulent Mandarin Oriental and the golden vehicles would follow.
But as we pulled away a police car suddenly rolled up behind us after letting out a bleep of sirens.
The officers appeared to be asking what exactly the supercars were doing parking brazenly in the middle of The Mall on a Saturday afternoon.
After a minute and some gesturing on both sides we moved off.
Unfortunately the relief was short lived. As we circled around the busy roundabout at Hyde Park Corner we were confused and then rather alarmed when the golden cars carried on going.
It was all going a bit Benny Hill.
We decided to carry on to the hotel and hope they turned up. I sent a text to Michael, Bin Abdullah’s PR man, who sent the reassuring reply ‘We will be there in 5.’
Half an hour later we were still waiting in the opulent surroundings of one of London’s most luxurious hotels where Abdullah regularly stayed before he got his own apartment in Mayfair.
Finally, the entourage and Bin Abdullah turned up. Michael the PR cheerfully told us: ‘This is what it’s like – our plans change all the time!’
As they settled in with us it appeared some soul searching had been taking place on the journey. ‘He doesn’t want to do video or pictures,’ Michael the PR man told me. ‘It’s fine – you just ask the questions and write them down.’
After explaining for some time the way MailOnline works we settled on a compromise: One photo, five minutes of video and no awkward questions.
Although Bin Abdullah was very polite throughout our unusual afternoon together it was made clear to us, through Michael the PR man, that certain topics were very much off limits, particularly regarding his family and royal connections.
Despite the fact he regularly documents his exploits online – including the time he chased a camel through the desert and the occasion he strapped a cheetah into the front seat – he would not be drawn on the personal.
Before he moved to an apartment in Mayfair he used to stay at The Dorchester and the Mandarin Oriental – two of London’s most expensive hotels.
He did reveal that all together he has seven gold cars – but has only brought four of them to London, which is one of his favourite cities along with Paris.
But Bin Abdullah was very keen to make one point: He resents the implication that he is one of those who drive their cars loudly and anti-socially through West London.
He says he never breaks the law – PR man Michael was quick to brush over the issue of parking tickets – and it appears to be a bugbear for him that media outlets in the Middle East have tried to portray him as a feckless driver terrorising London.
He said: ‘I’ve been in London for two months – if I was breaking the law like some people say, the UK has a government and police, they would not let me drive if I was breaking the law.
‘In two months I have not had a speeding ticket or broken any red lights. If I did do something London has police and they will not let this happen.
‘If I did something wrong they will stop me, but they don’t stop me because I don’t do anything illegal.’
He also revealed that on one occasion, while staying at a luxury hotel in Paris, security caught someone putting a lighter to the body of one of his cars because the hapless would-be thief thought it was real gold which would melt off.
While talking about the cars Bin Abdullah, who described them as his passion, was animated and keen to talk. But when it came to personal questions he closed off – and Michael the PR man was clearly keen that he did not give too much away as it could be a – in his words – ‘security breach’.
But perhaps they have good reason to be cautious. In the last year three members of the Saudi royal family have gone missing without explanation.
So who exactly is Turki Bin Abdullah? I’m still not entirely sure – which appears to be exactly how he likes it.