Tourists have been left fuming after they were unable to book rooms at two hotels near Lake Geneva after the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi reserved all their 200 rooms for a whole two months during the busy summer period.

Lake Geneva in Switzerland is a hugely popular tourist destination during summer months. However, visitors looking to book rooms at the nearby Novotel d’Annemasse and Mercure de Gaillard just across the border in more affordable France found there was no availability for the entire months of July or August.

This was because the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, often referred to as MBZ, booked all 200 rooms at the mid-range hotels for the entire month of July and August.

The wealthy sheikh owns a luxury villa atop a hill with views of the 224-square-mile lake in the nearby French commune of Vetraz-Monthoux. However, though he himself will be staying at the villa, he cleared out the two hotels for his numerous staff so they can tend to him during his visit.

Not only will ordinary folks not be able to book rooms at the hotels, but they will not be able to use their bars or restaurants either, as they have been fully reserved by the crown prince.

According to the weekly Le Messager, the sheikh is apparently still not content with fully booking up two hotels and, as such, he is currently mulling over booking up a third.

Annemasse mayor Christian Dupessey told Le Dauphine Libere: “I am shocked at this view that money can do anything. It is the opposite of our values in Annemasse.”

However, Adrien Genier, CEO of the Geneva Tourism & Conventions Foundation, told 20 Minutes he was “happy for our neighbours, as the entire tourism industry has suffered from the pandemic”.

The last time the Arab ruler caused controversy in the region was when he built a 900-square-metre (9,688-sq-ft) helipad at his Vetraz-Monthoux villa in 2018.

The local authorities gave the green light to the project even though it was only going to be used around 10 times a year.

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