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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saudi King in Rochester, Spends $1.5 M

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was in Rochester, Minnesota last week. The 84-year-old Saudi Arabian monarch was in town, visiting the renowned Mayo Clinic for medical reasons and bringing with him hundreds of staff and relatives. His entourage managed to spend $1.5 million in the short time they were there, cleaning out clothing stores and drinking vintage wines. Five U-Haul trucks were needed to transport their purchases, and two Boeing 747 planes were needed to take them the rest of the way back home.

While in Rochester, King Abdullah stayed at the International Hotel, billed as the only world-class accommodation in the city and located at the top of the Kahler Grand Hotel. Suites at the hotel start at $900 and go all the way up to $3000. Helpfully, the hotel is also connected directly to the Mayo Clinic.

On the free spending ways of the Saudis, the manager of Macy's at the Apache Mall said simply, "It's been good for our store and good for our community here — they spend money." But the Saudi royal family has demanding tastes even checking the silverware at restaurant before deciding to dine there.

Saudi King Rochester Photos

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

King Abdullah's Lodgings: International Hotel

King Abdullah's Lodgings: International Hotel


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Reader Comments:

That's oil money! I had to take a look. The Kahler hotel even has an arabic version of their website! Soon, we'll all be learning Arabic.

Anonymous - You should wake up. Thanks to the gas money you paid to the Saudis they can buy everything in sight in America. $5 a gallon can finance alot of nice vacations. This is capitalism at its ugliest and a real shame to America. The Saudis are laughing all the way to the bank first having gouged American consumers with $150 barrel oil, and then spending our hard earned dollars right before the holiday season. Shame on the Saudis! Shame on Bush. Shame on America for letting this happen..

For the size of his entourage, $1.5 million is actually not that much money. Even the king is feeling the recession.

There's nothing to envy here. Official unemployment rate: 13%. Unofficial unemployment rate: 30%. Saudia Arabia is a welfare state and with oil at $50 a barrel, we'll be seeing alot less of these crazy shopping springs. This is their last trip to load up one expensive designer ware, bling bling, watches, iPhones, gadgets you name it.

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