How a Saudi King Travels — Escalators, Limos and 1500-Person Entourage Included

Mar 2, 2017

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The arrival of the Saudi King in Indonesia on Wednesday was unlike anything we’ve seen from other foreign dignitaries. After the Saudi Royal Family’s 747 landed, the king did not take the stairs down to the tarmac; he used his own personal escalator.

King Salman also likes to surround himself with assistants, diplomats and security people; his massive entourage of over 1,500 people included 800 delegates, 25 princes and 10 ministers. While in Indonesia, the King and his squad will be staying in Jakarta’s top hotels including the Ritz-Carlton, the Raffles Jakarta and the JW Marriott.

With all these people comes a lot of luggage — about 500 tons of it, including two Mercedes-Benz S600 limousines and two electric elevators. The cargo arrived on its own fleet of more than seven airplanes comprised of two Boeing 747-400s, two 777s, one 757 and two 737-800 passenger jets. Additional cargo was flown in on a Lockheed C-130 Hercules, typically a military transport plane.

The Saudi King’s 747 in Indonesia. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Saudi royalty isn’t exactly known for its subtlety when traveling. On a 2015 trip to France, the King closed off a section of a beach and installed a private elevator to get to the sand. And in 2014 Salman, then just a crown prince, reportedly booked three entire Maldives resorts for his vacation.

King Salman’s personal elevator in France in 2015. Image courtesy of Valery Hache via Getty Images.

It’s the first time that a Saudi King has traveled to Indonesia in almost 50 years. Salman will be visiting various parts of the country but is ending his trip in Bali where he plans on enjoying “the natural beauty of the island.” The King’s entourage will be staying in some of the finest hotels, including the Bulgari Resort, where suites can go for up $4,400 a night.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images. 


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