Clients at the Hilton Hotel’s gym in Nicosia were surprised on Monday to find out that they could not access the treadmill section as it was being used by the UAE minister of foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan who was on the island on an official visit.
The Hilton Hotel said it did not wish to comment.
Cyprus was Sheikh Abdullah`s first stop of a series of visits in European capitals.
According to a gym-goer who had arrived there at around 12.30pm, security officers told him that the treadmills section was closed off for the Sheikh’s training.
“The officers were very polite of course, but that kept us from training,” a man who wished to remain anonymous, told the Cyprus Mail.
He added that at the time it was just him and another gym user, who wanted to use the treadmill facilities.
The security was such, he said, that an officer also stood at a door which leads to an adjacent room used for aerobics classes, to prevent anyone from entering the treadmill section. The aerobics room has three doors, two leading to the reception area, the other to the treadmills area.
Another source, told the Mail that the Sheikh, who was staying at the Hilton, had requested the hotel clear the entire gym so he could exercise, but when the hotel said it could not, he asked for exclusivity on the treadmills room for a short period of time.
There were also reports that the Sheikh had suggested that other gym goers to go to the cafeteria and have whatever they wanted on him, but that information was not confirmed.