Ritz Carlton, a luxurious Saudi jail, takes Feb. 14 bookings


By FAY ABUELGASIM
Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia’s capital may be reopening its doors in times for Valentine’s Day, after serving for several months as a prison for the country’s elite caught up in what the government has described as a crackdown on corruption.

The Ritz Carlton’s website on Monday showed bookings available beginning Feb. 14.

An unidentified call center employee handling bookings for the hotel said: “Bookings are available from the 14th of February, but the hotel is not liable if the booking is cancelled. Local authorities might extend the hotel lockout for security reasons.”

Sarah Walker-Kerr, a Dubai-based spokeswoman for Marriott, of which the Ritz Carlton is a subsidiary, declined to comment.

Phone lines to the hotel have been cut off since Nov. 5, when the crackdown began.

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