Saudi King Salman's Asia visit: 1,500-strong entourage, seven planes, 450 tonnes of cargo

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (centre) smiles as he arrives at Halim airport in Jakarta on March 1, 2017.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (centre) smiles as he arrives at Halim airport in Jakarta on March 1, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud is on a month-long trip across Asia.

His itinerary includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China and the Maldives. He will also be travelling to Jordan.

Here are some interesting facts about King Salman's trip, especially to Indonesia:


The Saudi king apparently favours travelling in a large group. BBC News reported that during the king's French holiday, he travelled with a total of 1,000 family members and friends. This time round, King Salman is accompanied by an entourage of 1,500 people, including 10 ministers and 25 princes.


Due to the size of the group, King Salman and his delegation require seven planes, which include six Boeing planes and one Hercules.


Prior to his visit, King Salman reportedly sent some of his belongings to Jakarta and Bali. With a total weight of 450 tonnes, his cargo includes two units of Mercedes-Benz S600 and two electric lifts. PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) President Director Adji Gunawan said 63 tonnes of the cargo would be unloaded at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, while the remaining would be brought to the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali.


Antara news agency reported that King Salman and his entourage will stay in four hotels during his visit in Jakarta - The Westin Jakarta, Raffles Hotel Jakarta, Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan and JW Marriott. In The Westin Jakarta, his entourage has rented 200 rooms.


King Salman's official visit to Indonesia is slated to run from March 1 to 3. On March 4 to 9, the king will spend time in Bali. Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the king only wanted rest in Bali. Up to 100 security personnel will reportedly protect King Salman during his six-day visit in Bali. This holiday is expected to attract more Saudi Arabia tourists to the destination.


As the king's safety is important, the Indonesian National Police have deployed 10,000 personnel, including soldiers from the military, to secure the visit. The joint security officers will be stationed in three locations, namely Jakarta, Bogor and Bali.


On March 2, the king is scheduled to give a 10-minute speech at the House of Representatives (DPR) in Senayan, South Jakarta, and visit the Istiqlal Mosque. In addition to security, special equipment has also been arranged at the two places. The House has prepared a portable ramp and a special chair, according to the 81-year-old king's request. The Istiqlal Mosque has also installed an elevator and a new toilet. The elevator is meant to transport the king to the second floor, where he will be practising a Sunnah (non-obligatory) prayer.