Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii is becoming increasingly prevalent in patients with diabetes mellitus in the Middle East. We examined the relationship of these bacteria and their resistance mechanisms to the diabetic disease status of patients in Saudi Arabia. Susceptibilities of 271 isolates to carbapenems, tigecycline and colistin were determined, followed by detection of carbapenemase genes. A blaVIM gene was detected in ~95 % of isolates; blaOXA-23 and blaOXA-40 genes were also prevalent. Diabetic patients were significantly more likely to carry carbapenem-resistant isolates. Carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii is a serious problem in diabetic patients, and molecular detection of resistance mechanisms in these isolates is required.