TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - It was something Jakarta had never ever seen. A royal visit by 81-year old King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the seventh king of Saudi Arabia. On a six-nation visit to Asia, Indonesia will be his second stop after Malaysia and he will then proceed to Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan.
King Salman's entourage consists of 1,500 people, of which 1,000 of them are family members, 25 of them are princes. They all came aboard seven airplanes, six Boeing 747s and one Hercules cargo plane to carry 450 tons of cargo comprising personal belongings and 2 Mercedes Benzes.
They are booked to stay at four hotels: Westin, Raffles, Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott. A 10,000 joint security detail have been assigned to guard the king and the royal entourage during their nine-day stay in Indonesia, six days of which will be in Bali.
His official agenda includes a meeting with President Jokowi, a speech at the DPR and a visit and prayer at Istiqlal Mosque. And many of Jakarta's main roads will be closed to facilitate the entourage's movements. For all this, Saudi Arabia is still lagging behind as an investor in Indonesia. The commitment to build oil fields at Banyuwangi and Riau has yet to be realized and his government has yet to compensate the hundreds of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims who died in the fatal stampede at Mecca a few years back.
"Let us hope for the best but let us not get our expectations too high from this visit," editorialized Koran Tempo.