“Foreign holidaymakers in the Maldives, one of the world’s most popular luxury honeymoon destination, were not happy earlier this year when their hotel bookings were cancelled at short notice,” writes Charles Haviland for the BBC.
“The reason was that Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, had booked out three whole islands for nearly a month.
It is just one example of the growing role of Saudi investment in the archipelago, a factor which may make the Maldives’ government unwilling to ruffle the feathers of Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
“The well-being of our guests is always our primary concern,” a spokeswoman for the Anantara resorts told the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, which reported that some tourists were angry at being moved to make way for the Saudi prince.
Prince Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia’s defence minister, was on an official business visit at the invitation of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, who was elected in November after two years of political turmoil.”