Saudi king takes 1,500 entourage, golden escalator, food, furniture on Russia trip

Published: October 6, 2017
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman disembarks from a plane upon his arrival at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow, Russia October 4, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi Arabia's King Salman disembarks from a plane upon his arrival at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow, Russia October 4, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi Arabia's King Salman disembarks from a plane upon his arrival at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow, Russia October 4, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Oct. 4, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is on a four-day state visit to Russia along with his entourage of 1,500 people, a golden escalator and his own carpets, a person familiar with the matter said.

On Wednesday, the 81-year-old king of the kingdom exited his plane out onto his golden escalator which malfunctioned halfway down and forced him to walk down rest of the way where his cavalcade of cars waited for him along with Russian police escorts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (center R) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (center L) attend a welcoming ceremony ahead of their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on October 5, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

This is the first visit to Russia by a Saudi monarch and both the countries have already struck a deal on weapons’ sale and how to stabilise the oil market.

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Around 800 kilogrammes of food has been flown in by a Saudi plane that is travelling daily between Riyadh and Moscow to transport supplies, according to the person.

“Members of the royal entourage also replaced some of the hotel staff with their own personnel, who know exactly how they like their coffee made,” he further added.

King Salman even brought his own furniture along to the luxury hotels booked by the Saudi government for the visit. Other guests were asked to cancel their reservations and people who lived there permanently even moved out.

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“The entire hotel is booked through October 8 and isn’t open to the public,” said a doorman dressed in red livery.

Even US presidents travel with large entourages that include a bullet proof limousine and a secret service protection force. US President Donald Trump stayed at the Ritz in Moscow during a trip in 2013 for the Miss Universe contest that he owned apart from former president Barack Obama.

“The bill for fully booking the two hotels during the visit may run about $3 million, not including what the delegation will spend on services, restaurant meals and spa treatments,” said Vadim Prasov, vice-president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia.

This article originally appeared on Bloomberg

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Reader Comments (15)

  • IBN E ASHFAQUE
    Oct 6, 2017 - 6:56PM

    This reflects their habits and it mirrors their values.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Oct 6, 2017 - 7:10PM

    their money their wish . Recommend

  • just_someone
    Oct 6, 2017 - 7:54PM

    Their downfall will come soon.
    As people in the world die of hunger and are killed because their ‘kings’ want to stroke their egos, they loot and plunder and spend on these kind of things. The Houses they claim to protect don’t need their protection. These ‘kings’ will fall while the Houses will remain standing because they are protected by the Mightest and He has not commanded us to act in the way these ‘kings’ do. Recommend

  • javed ali
    Oct 6, 2017 - 9:23PM

    Abnormal behaviour. They cannot and should not survive with this mentality.Recommend

  • Abdul jabbar
    Oct 7, 2017 - 12:26AM

    @just_someone:
    Very well said. But have ever gone to PM house or CM house or even commissioner house of Bahawalpur . Shame on first look at your own public leaders who claimed themselves champion of poors. And champion of democracy. Saudi claimed themselves king and Prince so they can afford this type of lavish lives. Because they are not public stalk holders. They spent what they earn by their own means of business. Not off shore companies,corruption , bhatta khor and from bribes and underhand dealings of our so- called public leaders.Recommend

  • I. A. Khan
    Oct 7, 2017 - 2:44AM

    Think about the Rohingya Muslims who are sleeping in open fields with no food most of the times. Recommend

  • BIMAL CHANDRA JHA
    Oct 7, 2017 - 8:32AM

    This is the true face of monarchism. We wonder how the money is being wasted for a visit to Russia by a king . The world which is still full of hungers, can not afford the useless expenses of a monarch. But everything is fair in religion. Saudi people have got no right to challenge the wisdom of the king because it will be unIslamic – Bimal Recommend

  • hanif khawaja
    Oct 7, 2017 - 9:31AM

    I wonder when the people of Arabia will see the light and free themselves of this corrupt eliteRecommend

  • SM
    Oct 7, 2017 - 10:14AM

    Utter degenerates. Reminds me of Sheikh Baklava in Namaloom Afrad 2 ;)Recommend

  • Mohammad Ibrahim
    Oct 7, 2017 - 10:45AM

    The luckiest people in the world who spend their life in the way they wish.Please, redress the misery of those in distress (Rohingya Muslims shelter).Recommend

  • Muhammad Saim
    Oct 7, 2017 - 1:51PM

    Meanwhile in Africa, neighbourhood of Saudi Arabia, hunger, disease and death reigns.Recommend

  • Atif
    Oct 7, 2017 - 3:49PM

    I would love to see these people in another 50 years.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Oct 7, 2017 - 7:42PM

    Islam requires that a muslim, however rich he may be, not to show off your wealth. Even the houses of muslims who are very rich would look simple and as ordinary as others i from the outside but may be palatial and lavish in the inside. Gaddafi had a pistol made of gold that had diamonds embedded on it. What happened to him in the end?Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Oct 8, 2017 - 4:04AM

    There goes the oil money.Recommend

  • us and them.
    Dec 7, 2017 - 2:26PM

    What a shame that we Pakistani’s follow them, it is better to stand on our two feet. Struggle and work hard, but never be obliged to others for any favor. Recommend

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