Royal holidays mean royal expenses — and royal pains-in-the-neck.
Riviera hotels and other hospitality businesses have reason to celebrate the arrival of Salman and his crew: they're set to cash in big time on the Saudi king's three-week Riviera beach holiday. The monarch brings with him a royal escort of around 700 people, who will be housed in luxury hotels on the Cannes promenade.
What's more, hundreds of other Saudis, following the tradition of following the king on his vacation, will flood the southern French resorts over the next 21 days.
"These are people with great purchasing power which will pep up not only the luxury hotel industry but also the retail and tourism sectors of the town," said Michel Chevillon, the president of an association representing hotel managers in Cannes.
The coastguard has announced it won't let anyone come closer than 300 meters to the king's sanctuary.
To add insult to injury, the announcement that the Saudis would build an elevator from the beach to the villa, and the subsequent pouring of a huge slab of cement directly onto the sand, sent locals into a tailspin.
It took citizens only 8 days to gather 45,000 signatures on a petition against the "privatization" of the public beach.
"There are security reasons and perhaps compromises to be found, but as a general rule what revolts our citizens is that the law is different if you are rich than if you are poor," Gaullist politician Nicolas Dupont-Aignan told radio station France Inter.
"We're sick and tired of this messing around," one local woman told Agence France-Presse.