Obamas’ 4-hour stop in Saudi Arabia racks up quarter-million tab: Rooms booked at Ritz, Marriott, Radisson

Hotel rooms, sedan and SUV rentals and incidentals like Internet service are costing U.S. taxpayers more than a quarter-million dollars for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s stay in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday – and they’re only going to be there for four hours!

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the State Department is footing the bill for more than $200,000 worth of hotel rooms for staffers for the visit, which officially runs from 3:25 p.m., when the Obamas land King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and ends when they take off at 7:30.

The Obamas are in Saudia Arabia to meet the new King Salman, who took over for former King Abdulla, who died Friday.

According to the Free Beacon:

Despite the short length of the trip, the visit still requires numerous hotel rooms. The State Department is paying $25,920 for hotel rooms at the Marriott, $64,320 for rooms at the Radisson Blu, and n$32,000 for rooms at the Ritz-Carlton.

Three other hotel bills issued for the president’s visit totaled $106,667.

Sedan and SUV rentals for the president cost $0,693, and the State Department is also paying $18,187 for Internet services at the Ritz-Carlton.

The costs aren’t all the Obamas’ fault, since a high-level delegation of U.S. officials is also going to be in the kingdom, including Secretary of State John Kerry and two of his predecessors under Republican presidents, James A. Baker III and Condoleezza Rice, The New York Times reports.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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