Secrets of the Saudi Royal Family

And Yamani said the lack of recreational outlets for young people causes additional problems. There are no venues," she said. "There are no restaurants where they can sit as men and women, there are no cinemas. There're no clubs."

Other critics take offense at what they say is the royal family's blatant mockery of the Islamic religion.

"The royal family are not only not observing Muslims, actually they are enemies of Islam," said Dr. Saad al Faqih, a Saudi dissident living in London who heads the Movement for Islamic Reform In Arabia. "Not only squandering our money, but deceiving us, behaving with this hypocrisy, and destroying our religion, our identity, our social life."

Al Faqih's group broadcasts via satellite into Saudi Arabia every night, denouncing the royal family. Last year al Faqih called for public demonstrations and an estimated 200 people took to the streets, the first time in memory such an event had taken place. Most of the participants were arrested.

"Well you know the official position in Saudi Arabia is that public demonstrations are not allowed," said Prince al Walid, adding that he was indifferent to the issue.

The Saudis have tried to block al Faqih's satellite transmissions and recently accused him of being part of a terrorist plot to assassinate members of the royal family.

Al Faqih denied the accusations, but said, "Well, it's good to see them disappear. It's good to see them disappear."

Prince al Walid insisted the royal family was beloved by its subjects.

"The interaction, the relation between the Saudi royal family and the people I would say is further than ideal, it's utopian," he said.

But Yamani described a different reality. "The royal family have alienated vast majorities of the Saudi people to whom they give their names," she said. "They know they are losing power."

There are more than 5,000 princes in the royal family of Saudi Arabia and only a few are alleged to be involved in criminal activity.

But the extent that such behavior is tolerated and covered up only strengthens the case of royal family critics.

"And it makes me very sad because you're watching this behavior, and you're watching the decay, and these people are putting their head in the sand," Yamani said. "And waiting until the place burns."

ABC News' Marni Lane, Maddy Sauer and Jessica Wang contributed to this report.

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