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Saudi luxury Ritz-Carlton anti-corruption ‘prison’ hotel will cost $53 million

Crown Prince and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud attends a Shoura Council meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 13 December 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Anadolu Agency]

Nearly 50 days after the Saudi authorities arrested a number of businessmen and princes, as part of an anti-corruption campaign, the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh Hotel is still at the disposal of these detainees.

At the time hotel announced the cancellation of hotel reservations and apologized to many guests after being evacuated without a prior warning.

According to online booking websites, including Trivago, Booking, etc., the hotel has been booked for a month, until the beginning of December. However, when The New Arab tried to book a room in the hotel through these websites, they found it to be booked up until the 1st of March 2018.

The Saudi authorities are therefore obliged to pay more than 492 room reservations,  at a rate that is up to $494 per night, though the rates increase up to $7000 for the Royal Suites.

Thus, the costs incurred by the Saudi authorities amount to approximately $800 per day. This means that the cost of 487 rooms reaches up to $389,000 per day, plus 5 suites at a cost of $35,000 dollars, which means the hotel’s full booking reaches up to approximately $425,000 dollars per day.

Read More: Saudi completes first stage of ‘anti-corruption drive’

Based on that, the cost of accommodation for a period of approximately 4 months (from 4th November to 1st March) reaches $ 51 million, not including food.

If the meals’ costs in the hotel’s four restaurants are included, the cost reaches up to about $20,000 a day, for the price of one meal at Al-Orjowan restaurant is about $86.

As for Azoura restaurant, the price of one meal reaches about $80 dollars, while in the most prominent Chinese restaurant in the world, Hong, the cost of one dish exceeds 300 Saudi riyals and the prices of some dishes may exceed 600 Saudi riyals (about $160).

If we want to provide food to about 200 detainees, at an average cost of only $100 per detainee, the cost reaches $ 20,000 a day, which means that the costs can reach $ 600,000 per month, and within four months, they reach $ 2.4 million.

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According to these figures, the monthly costs the Saudi authorities pay, reach $13.350 million. This means that within four months, the Saudi authorities will have to pay about $53 million, a number which perhaps raises many questions about the methods implemented to combat corruption.

It is noteworthy that this hotel is one of the most important hotels in the city of Riyadh, especially as it is located in one of the most luxurious areas, west of Riyadh, in Al Hada area, Makkah direct Road, and it is strategically located near the State institutions.

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