In early November, Saudi officials arrested dozens of the country’s royal figures, businessmen, and ministers in what Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb called the start of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign. Unfortunately, holding them at the Ritz isn’t exactly what any of us had in mind when we heard about the “arrest.”
Now, reports show that accommodations to the big names being held by Saudi officials are costing the crown at least about $425,000 a day.
Nearly 50 days after the arrest, The Middle East Monitor reports that the crown may end up spending at least $51 million to hold the royals and others at the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh Hotel, the most important hotel in the city, where they have remained ever since officials announced the anti-corruption drive.
At the time, the hotel had to rush to tell any guests with reservations booked that they were going to be canceled. Many guests even had to be evacuated as the announcement came out of the blue.
But while originally, travel sites, such as Trivago, claimed that the hotel had been booked only until early December, reporters who tried to book a room in the hotel online learned that there was nothing available until March 2018.
Saudi officials are paying for about 487 rooms at about $800 per day and five suites at about $7,000 per day. That's a total of about $425,000 per day, or about $51 million for four months of “imprisonment,” not including food.
At this rate, The Middle East Monitor adds, officials should be questioning whether their methods to fight corruption are, indeed, sound. After all, while corruption has allegedly cost the country about $100 billion over the years, arresting those responsible has already cost the crown millions of dollars in less than two months.