BREAKING/Prime Minister’s and Mrs Muscat’s Dubai hotel bill was €11,014

Published: March 14, 2017 at 3:59pm

The bill for the Prime Minister’s and Mrs Muscat’s six-night stay with their two small children at the Hotel Atlantis the Palm in Dubai last Easter was €11,014. This is just the hotel bill and does not include the cost of return flights on Emirates for all four of them, taxis and other expenses, including Mrs Muscat’s henna tattoo.

I have obtained a copy of the Visa credit card receipt, which I have uploaded below.

On 24th March last year I had reported that the Muscats were staying at the Atlantis the Palm in Dubai. They checked out on the 29th, as the receipt date shows, and the next day Mrs Muscat was at a press conference in Malta defending her dressmaker friend’s use of prisoners to sew curtains and garments.

The payment receipt below pertains to a Visa card used by the Prime Minister, whose sole income – as declared to parliament – is his salary, which is €68,000 before deductions. His wife has no income. This means that the Prime Minister and Mrs Muscat spent around one-fifth of their actual household income on six days in Dubai.

When the news broke that the Prime Minister and his wife had taken their Easter break at one of the most expensive hotels in Dubai, the Opposition challenged him in and out of parliament to produce the receipt for his hotel bill. It was assumed that somebody else would have paid for it because it is unaffordable to somebody on his salary and whose wife does not work.

The Prime Minister brushed off those requests, and his refusal to produce the receipt was taken to mean that he didn’t have it and that somebody else had paid for his trip.

I took it to mean that he was embarrassed to reveal how much they had spent – not only because it would be offensive to pensioners and those struggling on low or median incomes, but also because that kind of spending is not consistent with his salary.