Meant to link to this yesterday, but ran out of time. Consider it the Saudi Succession Edition of Required Reading:
Yet this successor government will almost certainly be a brief one. Abdullah is over 80. Sultan is in his late 70’s. Thus the potential crisis comes not with the post-Fahd succession, but upon Abdullah’s death. The prospect of a crippling tribal feud within the House of Saud, or of a nationwide movement of discontent among average Saudis who are left out of the royals’ enormous circle of influence and wealth, are real possibilities.