The Edition


Assets brought in for royal visit back to Saudi Arabia

Fathmath Shaahunaz
19 March 2017, MVT 12:17
Two helicopters brought in from Saudi Arabia for King Salman's visit land in the Republic Square in capital Male during rehearsals for the royal welcoming ceremony. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
19 March 2017, MVT 12:17

In the wake of King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia postponing his official visit to the Maldives which was scheduled for Saturday, work is now underway to return the goods and assets that were imported for the king’s visit back to Saudi Arabia.

King Salman had planned to visit the Maldives as his final destination during his five-nation tour of Asia. The royal visit was delayed at the last minute due to the swine flu epidemic spreading across the archipelago, according to the local government.

While preparations had been in full swing to receive the king in capital Male during the days preceding the now-delayed visit, three resorts of Kaafu atoll had also been booked for ten days to accommodate the monarch and his accompanying delegation. King Salman had planned to spend five of his six-day visit on vacation in One & Only Reethi Rah resort; the other two resorts are Anantara Kihavah and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.

In the days leading up to the anticipated arrival, a huge number of goods were brought to the Maldives via chartered flights of Saudi Arabia for the king’s stay, including food, medical equipment and furniture for his rooms. Modern hospital quarters were also established in One & Only Reethi Rah for the monarch’s use.

“Everything has been packed up. Some have already been returned,” an informed source told Mihaaru.

Some of the goods brought in were for the official ceremonies to be held in capital Male, including two cars for travel, the king’s luxury yacht, and a naval frigate with two helicopters to oversee security.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Asim has stated that the government will announce a new date for the royal visit in time.

King Salman visited Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China on his Asian tour. He returned to Saudi Arabia on Saturday after cancelling his visit to the Maldives.

The Asian tour, which was launched to strengthen diplomatic, economic and military relations between the kingdom and Asian nation, was lucrative for the most part. The Saudi government entered into agreements totalling USD 65 billion with China, USD 2 billion with Malaysia and also agreed that Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s national petroleum and natural gas company, will purchase 50 percent stake of Malaysia’s oil trade project for USD 7 billion.