It looks like Saudi Arabia is dealing with a bit of internal turmoil at the moment, as the country’s crown prince has arrested princes and former ministers as part of an anti-corruption drive. While the story is still developing, as of now about 50 people have been arrested.
Per ABC News, here are the basics on the situation:
Saudi Arabia’s heir to the throne is overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country’s most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers. Some of them are potential rivals or critics of the crown prince, whose purported anti-corruption sweep sent shockwaves across the kingdom Sunday as he further consolidated power.
The arrest of senior princes upends a longstanding tradition among the ruling Al Saud family to keep their disagreements private in an effort to show strength and unity in the face of Saudi Arabia’s many tribes and factions. It also sends a message that the crown prince has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have long been seen as operating above the law.
However, that’s not really travel related (at least not yet). What is interesting, however, is where these people are being “jailed.” Apparently the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is being used as a jail for the arrested officials.
Guests of the hotel were forced to check out last night, and the hotel simply told guests that this was “due to unforeseen circumstances out of the hotel management’s control.”
As of now the hotel has blocked out availability through December 1, 2017.
One has to wonder if this situation would qualify for Marriott’s Ultimate Reservation Guarantee, where in the event that a hotel is unable to honor your reservation, they’ll book you at a nearby hotel, comp the stay, and Platinum members would even get 140,000 bonus Marriott Rewards points.
Here’s to hoping that the crown prince has negotiated earning points for all the rooms. Marriott Rewards members can only earn points for up to three rooms, though that assumes the guest and member is the one paying for the stay. Since I assume the crown prince isn’t staying at the hotel/jail (that would be awkward), he wouldn’t technically be eligible. Maybe he’s a good negotiator, though?
(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)