Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): There are no official figures on the wealth of the late Emir Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the former Bahraini Prime Minister, however, the memory of the people in Bahrain is filled with many stories about his vast wealth which he gathered by plundering public money and seizing lands during his five decades as a Prime Minister. It seems that Mr. "Fifty-Fifty", a popular name for him, was keen on keeping his fortune secret. There is a story told about him in this regard when he insulted one of his relatives, Shaikh Ahmed bin Atiyatullah Al Khalifa, Follow-up Minister at the Royal Court, during the scandal known as the "Bandar Report" (2006) because the latter's activity was not carried out in enough secrecy. "I spent 40 years in government work and I was not caught on a piece of paper, while a 500-page report was written about you in your two years in government," he told him.
This incident tells us a lot about the man's conservative mentality. It also explains why his wealth remains a state secret and a reality that all people in Bahrain know but do not have documents on. However, many issues and property documents are leaked from time to time, such as the document showing the purchase of the financial port land plot in the commercial district of Manama for "one dinar", which was an important topic during the events of 2011.
Like the rest of his family's sons and daughters, Khalifa bin Salman adopted a well-known policy of seizing public money: don't put your signature on a paper; put the signature of the representative who represents you. Thus, there is a wide network of investor agents, children and grandchildren whose operations flow into the same stream. This is why it is difficult to trace the various aspects of his wealth and gimmicks, unless the various extensions are traced.
Despite this, some of his known private properties can be counted, such as "Jidda" Island, which is located in the west of Bahrain, which is private and contains a palace, gardens, helipad, a mosque and many other facilities. He also owns a 60% stake of international Kempinski Hotels group as well as Jumeirah Resort, which is owned by one of his grandchildren, as well as the Regency Hotel Bahrain, Al-Ahli United National Bank, whom the PM's eldest son Ali is considered the most important and largest investor in it. The late Prime Minister seized coasts and public lands, such as the Karbabad coast. Since the 1970s, it has settled in the memory of Bahrainis that any three-brick walled land means one thing: Mr. Fifty-Fifty! In general, he, or those representing him, has a percentage in every large company in Bahrain and every profit-making entity, such as Al-Bilad newspaper.
The question now is: What is the fate of all of this now with his demise? Although it is too early to answer, it can now be predicted that Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman's vast legacy will be the most prominent issue his children will be occupied with in the following short period of time, and they may become engaged in cold family battles on this from the moment of his burial. Unfortunately, the examples presented to them from neighboring Saudi Arabia, which dominates Bahrain's actual decision-making process, do little to serve them when it comes to a "late prince".
We have seen a live rehearsal which is considered an example of family revenge with the death of King Abdullah. Perhaps this or something similar to this may be waiting for them too, as Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman's affairs have not been at their best during his final two years. The balance of power had been severely disrupted against him. In moments, he seemed unable even to stop youths like those whom he called "Twitter trash" or even meet a Shiite leader like Sayed Abdullah Al-Ghuraifi, or congratulate the Emir of Qatar on the arrival of Ramadan without stones falling on his face. In his absence, things will get even more complicated. The headline of his heirs in the coming days will be his fortune, and they will have to work hard.