RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah prepared to bury his former heir, Crown Prince Nayef, on Sunday before naming a new successor at a challenging time for the world's top oil exporter and self-styled steward of Islam.

The crown prince's body arrived in Jeddah on Sunday a day after his death, where it was met at King Khaled Airport by a host of Saudi princes.

Among them was the most likely candidate to take the position to succeed the 89-year-old king is Prince Salman, 76, another son of Saudi Arabia's founder Abdulaziz ibn Saud.

The new crown prince will become heir to a king who is aged 89 at a time when Saudi Arabia faces a variety of challenges at home and abroad.

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