King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia is set to land in Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta on Wednesday. The seventh Saudi Arabian king will be in Indonesia for a state visit from March 1 to 9.
The special occasion is highly celebrated as the last time a Saudi king visited Jakarta was in 1970, when King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited the country.
Prior to the king's visit, the government has implemented several measures to ensure his safety and comfort. Here are 10 interesting facts about King Salman's trip to Indonesia.
Six-nation Asian tour
King Salman's visit to Indonesia is part of his six-nation Asian tour. According to the Gulf News, the tour kicked off in Malaysia on Feb. 26. Indonesia is King Salman's second destination before travelling to Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan.
The king apparently favors to travelling in a large group. BBC News reported that during the king's French holiday, he came with a total of 1,000 family members and friends. This time around, King Salman will be accompanied an entourage of 1,500 people, including 10 ministers and 25 princes.
The 25 princes have been one of the most talked about topics on social media. Among them are Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Mohammed, Prince Mansour bin Saud, Prince Mohammed bin Fahd, Prince Talal bin Saud, Prince Khalid bin Bandar, Prince Sattam bin Saud, Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan, Prince Mansour bin Muqren, Prince Mohammed bin Abdurrahman, Prince Ahmed bin Fahd bin Salman, Prince Abdulrahman bin Badr, Prince Saud bin Salman, Prince Naif bin Salman and Prince Rakan bin Salman. Antara news agency reported that Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan and Prince Abdulrahman bin Badr are active on social media.
Due to the size of the group, King Salman will be flying in with seven planes, which includes six Boeing planes and one Hercules.
Antara news agency reports that King Salman and his entourage will be staying in four hotels during his visit in Jakarta, namely The Westin Jakarta, Raffles Hotel Jakarta, Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan and JW Marriott. In The Westin Jakarta, his entourage have rented 200 rooms.
Nasi kebuli and local fruits
King Salman is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Bogor State Palace in Bogor, West Java, on March 1. During the short trip, King Salman and his entourage will be joining Jokowi for lunch. The lunch menu is said to comprise a wide array of local and Middle Eastern cuisine, such as nasi kebuli (rice cooked in spices).
Presidential Secretariat head Darmansjah Djumala told kompas.com that the local foods would consist grilled seafood, traditional desserts and fruits.
"[We will] introduce [them] to the local fruits. [As] we have many [variations] of fruits," said Darmansjah.
Six-day vacation in Bali
King Salman's official visit is slated to run from March 1 to 3. On March 4 to 9, the king and his entourage are set to spend time in Bali. Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the king only wanted rest in Bali. Up to 100 security personnel will reportedly safeguard King Salman during his six-day visit in Bali. This holiday is expected to attract more Saudi Arabian tourists to the destination.
10,000 joint security personnel
The king's safety is important, hence the National Police have prepared 10,000 personnel, including soldiers from the military, to secure the visit. The joint security team officers will be stationed in three locations, namely Jakarta, Bogor and Bali.
Prior to his visit, King Salman has reportedly sent some of his belongings to Jakarta and Bali. With a total weight of 450 tons, his cargo includes two units of Mercedes-Benz S600 and two electric lifts. PT Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS) president director Adji Gunawan said of the cargo, 63 tons would be unloaded at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, while the remaining 396 tons would be brought to the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali.
Special arrangements for the king
On March 2, the king is scheduled to give a 10-minute speech at the House of Representatives (DPR) in Senayan, South Jakarta, and visit the Istiqlal Mosque. In addition to security, special equipment has also been arranged at the two places. The House has prepared a portable ramp and a special chair according to the 81-year-old king's request. Meanwhile, the Istiqlal Mosque has installed an elevator and added a new toilet. The elevator is meant to transport the king to the second floor, where he will be practicing a Sunnah (non-obligatory) prayer.