Summer sheikh up

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MINTED: A Lamborghini with Dubai plates in Puerto Banus.

MARBELLA has enjoyed a record August for visitors from the Gulf states, with a spokesman from a deluxe hotel in the resplendent resort confirming that “there are customers who demand the treatment of a prince or princess who occupy one or two rooms, whereas others bring an entourage and commandeer eight to 10 rooms or even an entire floor, and those are the important ones.”

Arabic tourists are staying longer than ever before, and spending more, too, with the first deluge of primarily Saudi citizens arriving from July 6, and the snowball effect is expected to continue well into September due to the Eid al-Adha festival, also known as the ‘Sacrifice Feast,’ taking place between September 11 – 18.

Political instability and outright war in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt is also thought to have contributed to the upturn, with Marbella considered a relatively secure destination for the moneyed upper classes, with the most prestigious tending to employ a hush-hush stratagem based on secrecy and discretion.

Members of the Qatar and Saudi ruling families are known to have holidayed on the Costa del Sol this year, although few of the Arabic tourists skimp on expenses, many employing personal secretaries to deal with hefty hotel and car, boat, or helicopter rental payments, while restaurant bills of €1,000 per head are “far from uncommon.”

One loaded client spent €360,000 on watches in the space of an hour last week, and a jaunt to Marbs is also seen as an opportunity for ‘permanent revelry’ by some looser-minded individuals keen to give their normally strict moral standards a temporary miss, with “plenty of alcohol and jamon” consumed, while some hotel lobbies can apparently resemble “a lingerie catwalk” during the wee hours.

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