The Sultan of Oman’s delegation has completely left Leuven
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The Sultan of Oman’s delegation has completely left Leuven

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman was in Leuven for around a week for 'a series of medical checks.' Credit: Wikimedia Commons

All the members of the delegation of the Sultan of Oman, seventy in total, who had accompanied the Sultan during his stay in Leuven, left the city on Monday.

The Sultan’s arrival has been a hot topic in Belgian news after a four-star hotel in the very centre of Leuven closed its doors to all bookings until the end of January during his visit to the city for medical work.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the longest-serving leader in the Middle East, came to the Flemish city’s renowned university hospital to undergo a “series of medical checks,” Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced in a press release.

While he was expected to stay until January, it was announced on Friday that the Sultan had already left Belgium. “He said that he greatly appreciated Leuven’s hospitality,” Leuven Mayor Mohamed Ridouani told Het Nieuwsblad

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Hotel The Fourth – where he was staying – stands on the Grote Markt in what used to mean the local headquarters of the National Bank, beside the city hall and the St Peter’s church. The building also houses the starred restaurant Tafelrond of chef Kwinten De Paepe, which is also closed until the end of January.

As the booking was closed early, hotel management has decided to offer the food planned for the delegation to the local charity Poverello, which helps people in need.

“We have already eaten eagerly from the first donation, they are nicely prepared hotel meals, Poverello told de Telegraaf. “This will be a beautiful Christmas. ”

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times