Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz is heading to Indonesia this week for a nine-day visit. It will be the first time in 46 years that a Saudi king has visited the world’s largest Muslim nation, and it comes at a time of heightened attention on the economic links between the two nations.
The Saudi royal is expected to bring 459 metric tonnes (506 U.S. tons) of cargo with him on his trip — including two Mercedes-Benz s600 limousines and two electric elevators… The Jakarta Post reports that the Saudi group will total about 1,500 people, including 10 ministers, 25 princes and at least 100 security personnel.
Adji Gunawan of the airfreight company PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) told the Antara news agency that his company was appointed to handle the cargo, which has already arrived in the country. Adji said his company was employing a total of 572 workers to deal with the Saudi king’s luggage.
Saudi royals are often known for traveling in grandiose style. Salman booked the entire Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown when he visited Washington in 2015. The hotel, one of the most luxurious in the area, has 222 rooms.
While the Saudi king’s colossal cargo hold may seem large, it is not necessarily out of scale with those of other world leaders. When President Barack Obama visited sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, he was accompanied by 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines, and hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents tasked with helping secure locations in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
Even when Obama traveled less exotic locales, there were reports of a similarly high level of organization: A 2014 visit to Brussels included a 900-person entourage and 45 vehicles, according to the Guardian. Though the White House later disputed that figure, it said it could not provide a more accurate one due to security concerns.
Malaysia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for the start of a rare, month-long Asian tour, where the monarch will build ties and seek to draw more investments to the oil-rich gulf nation. (Reuters)