In Saudi Arabia for 4-Hour Stop, Obama Admin Books Rooms at Ritz, Marriott, Radisson

Brief trip will cost taxpayers $267,787

• January 26, 2015 6:10 pm


President Barack Obama’s visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is costing taxpayers $267,787 in hotel and SUV rentals, according to contracts issued by the State Department.

The president is traveling to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to meet their newly crowned monarch King Salman and to pay respects to King Abdullah, who died on Friday.

President Obama and the First Lady will arrive in Riyadh on Tuesday afternoon to attend delegation introductions, a bilateral meeting, and dinner at Erga Palace, before flying back to Washington overnight.

According to the White House press schedule, the Obamas will arrive at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh at 3:25 p.m. and depart at 7:30 p.m.

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 $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 $20,693, and the State Department is also paying $18,187 for Internet services at the Ritz-Carlton.

All the contracts were awarded over the weekend to "Miscellaneous Foreign Awardees," and designated as urgent.

The president will not be attending the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, also being held on Tuesday, which will be attended by numerous other heads of state.