Enthusiastic crowds of students, and police officer outlined the route of King Salman’s heavily guarded motorcade as it arrived in Bogor, my hometown. Even though it was raining so hard, it didn’t stop them to stay in the line, instead they were more even -look like- excited to welcome the King to our lovable city.
King Salman is scheduled to hold talks with Mr Widodo and attend a reception at Bogor Palace. He will also meet religious leaders and visit Southeast Asia’s biggest mosque, Istiqlal, before heading to the vacation island of Bali for more than a week.
However, what got my attention the most is not that Saudi Arabia’s strategic plan in increasing special bond with Indonesia, but rather this nine-day visit has been keeping hundreds of people in the travel, hospitality and cargo-handling industry very very busy.
Here is why:
- The king of Saudi Arabia is toting with a colossal luggage weighing a total of 459 metric tonnes (it is equivalent with more than blue whales weight)
- He is accompanied by a 1,500-person entourage, including 10 ministers. (such a group!)
- 25 of Charming Princess joint the tour. (This is what my girl friends got attracted the most)
- Considering the size of the delegation, the king and his group have been flying with seven planes, which includes six Boeing aircraft.
- He is using a 81-year old golden escalator to escort him from plane to the red carpet and was welcomed by Pak Jokowi for the first time.
- 200 Rooms in Jakarta’s 5-star Hotel have been reserved which includes The Westin Jakarta, Raffles Jakarta, Ritz-Carlton, and JW Marriott.
- The group will be in Bali for nine days for HOLIDAYS (the portion of days they spent for ‘informal agenda’ is higher than the ‘formal meeting’ they actually had.
- They will be staying in St.Regis Bali and Ngurah Rai Bali Airport was closed for 45 minutes during the escort of the King, Prince, and Delegations affecting 6.500 of passenger to have delay.
I would like to say Ahlan Wa Sahlan to Indonesia, King and Prince! Hope you will enjoy Indonesia and Bali!
(Next Post I will be discussing on a more serious thing on what Saudi seeks in Asia)