King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday kicked off his nine-day tour of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
King Salman, who is the first Saudi monarch to visit Indonesia in almost 50 years, is on a month-long tour of Asia seeking to strengthen economic ties. The King already spent a few days in Malaysia and will also be visiting China, Japan and the Maldives.
Reports coming out of Jakarta is suggesting that the monarch is traveling very heavy. The president of airport services company PT Jasa Angkasa Semestar, Adji Gunawan, said King Salman is traveling with 460 metric tons of luggage which includes escalators and Mercedes Benz limousines.
The monarch is also accompanied by about 1,500 people including ten ministers, 800 delegates, and 25 princes.
Adji Gunawan revealed that he has deployed 572 members of staff to handle the Saudi King’s trip. Local media also reports that Indonesia’s national police force has readied 10,000 officers to provide adequate security.
It’s expected that the King’s highly anticipated arrival will cause some disruption to the city.
King Salman was welcomed by President Joko Widodo and a guard of honor when he disembarked his official plane with his escalator and cars already waiting for him.
Indonesian Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung told local press that the visit was a historic one for the country.
The King is slated to hold talks with Widodo at the leader’s official residence in Bogor outside Jakarta. Business deals could be announced after the meetings with a series of memorandum of understanding set to be signed on a wide range of issues from security to health and education.
The king will also be giving a speech to parliament on Thursday.
After all formal meetings, King Salmon and his entourage will head to Bali for vacation where there will be staying in luxury hotels like the Bulgari, where the most exclusive villa costs around $4,400 a night.