King Salman of Saudi Arabia has cut short his vacation to the French Riviera, scheduled to last three weeks, after just eight days, after a torrent of criticism from his beachgoing neighbors.
The king’s departure means that authorities will re-open the Mirandole beach at Vallauris, which is directly below the king’s private villa and which local authorities controversially agreed to close for security purposes throughout his stay. About 150,000 people signed a petition against the temporary privatization of public land, according to Reuters.
People were also outraged by the king’s temporary installation of an elevator from the beach to his villa, saying it was against national values of equality, and by his request to remove female police who were patrolling the area.
The king has now flown to Tangiers, Morocco with about half of his 1,000-person entourage, a local French official told AFP.