Saudi prince books Maldives resorts, enrage tourists

Saudi prince books Maldives resorts, enrage tourists
Sat Feb 22, 2014 09:47:55

Tourists looking forward to a dream holiday in the Maldives have had to change their plans after learning that a top Saudi official and crown prince has booked out three entire luxury resorts in the vacation island exclusively for himself.

Saudi Arabia's First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has reportedly taken over the five-star paradise resorts for nearly a month, UK-based Daily Mail reported on Friday.

It is believed the 78-year-old heir to the Saudi throne paid £18million ($30million) for the resorts of Anantara Veli, Naladhu and Anantara Dighu from February 19 to March 15.

According to a report on the website, the Saudi prince was due to arrive in the Maldives with a floating hospital, a luxury yacht and more than 100 bodyguards.

But the last minute booking has upset ‘normal’ holidaymakers who have had their reservations cancelled.

Posting a review on the travel website Trip Advisor, one disgruntled holidaymaker who was due to stay at the Antantara Veli resort, wrote, "Our reservation was cancelled with NO notice and we were informed only AFTER we contacted them."

Prince Salman is visiting the Maldives in an official capacity at the invitation of Abdulla Yameen, president of the Republic of Maldives, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry confirmed earlier this month.

The report does not offer details about reasons or the agenda for the long stay of the key Saudi government official in the Maldives.


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