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Ritz Carlton, a luxury Saudi prison, takes Feb. 14 Sweetheart bookings 

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FAY ABUELGASIM, Associated Press


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia’s capital may be reopening its doors in time 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.


Saudi Ritz Carlton Hotel doubles as prison

FILE – In this Jan. 23, 2016 file photo, the motorcade carrying then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia’s capital may be reopening its doors in times for Valentine’s Day 2018 after serving as a prison for the country’s elite caught up in what the government has described as a crackdown on corruption. The hotel’s website on Monday, Jan 15, 2018 showed bookings available beginning from Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool, File)


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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