Holidays are usually an expensive affair for everybody, with British families spending around two month’s wages on their annual break. According to research by Halifax bank, people are spending around £1000 or more per person on their overseas holidays. The King of Saudi Arabia has taken this summer spending a step further and has just spent a staggering $100 million on a trip to Morocco.
The bill did not just cover the expenses of the King but included his entire entourage. Over 1000 guests made the trip with King Salman, including everybody from friends and family to security guards and advisors. The huge party touched down at the airport in Tangiers at the end of July and were received by Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani. The King made his way to his luxury 74-acre estate which has been upgraded for this year’s visit; a new helipad has been added and a large tent for entertaining guests has been constructed. The estate now also contains medical facilities and restaurants which are staffed by the best catering teams available.
King Salman’s guests were not to be left out and were treated to rooms in the finest hotels in the city, taking up around 800 rooms and leasing 200 cars during their stay. Israeli newspaper Haaretz has called the trip “the most expensive all-inclusive package ever” and advised people against travelling to the area at the same time as the King’s entourage as the city roads were packed.
Morocco is a divided country, with a huge gap between the wealthier classes and the lower-earners. The extravagant spending on the Saudi King’s lavish trips has been slammed by many who believe it to be in poor taste in a country which is home to deep poverty. On the other hand of the argument, however, the King’s costly holiday has provided the Moroccan tourism industry with 1.5% of its yearly revenue which can only be a good thing for the local economy.
A spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information said that none of the money used to cover the trip came from government funds, meaning that the King used his own cash for the holiday. King Salman is clearly a generous employer, as he recently gifted his household staff with a free trip to Mecca.