Saudi King Salman embarked on an unprecedented domestic tour on Tuesday, an official said.
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The king was also set to visit the northern region of Hail, in his first such tour since he ascended to the most powerful throne in the Middle East in 2015, the pro-government Sabq newspaper reported.
The tour comes as Saudi Arabia faces international criticism over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder on October 2 in its consulate in Istanbul.
King Salman last month ordered the resumption of annual bonus payments to all government workers from the beginning of next year.
The bonuses had been suspended under austerity measures in 2016 amid low oil prices.
In recent weeks, Saudi nationalists have sought to rally around the prince with adulatory poems and songs on social media as local officials dismiss the Khashoggi crisis as a Western conspiracy.
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