Since the announcement of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia began to change its policies and strategies towards the kingdom’s income sources as the tourism section is scheduled to play an important role in the near future, This confirms that Tourism economy in Saudi Arabia reaps its rewards.
The Kingdom is recently working to promote tourism and attract visitors for purposes other than visiting the holy places after discovering more historical places that could attract the attention of the tourists.
“Amala” a new hub for medical tourism in MENA
Saudi’s Public Investment Fund announced the launch of Amala project, a luxury medical tourism destination on the Red Sea coast, which focuses on health recovery and treatment purposes. The project area is described as “MENA’s Riviera “
The project is expected to become a distinct tourist destination within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nature Reserve in the northwest of the Kingdom.
The project will provide an exceptional opportunity for investors and private sector operators to finance the project’s various facilities.
Foundation stone is expected to be laid in the first quarter of 2019, in which the first phase will be opened by the end of 2020, and the entire project will be completed by 2028.
The fund said that Amala, along with the Neom city and Red Sea projects, are part of Saudi Arabia’s huge portfolio of projects to attract more investments.
The project comes as part of plans to develop a new tourism system in the Kingdom and to maximize its role in supporting economic diversification and providing high value jobs.
Launching the tourism Arbitration Commission
The Executive Council of the Arab Tourism Organization, headed by Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, has agreed with the establishment of an Arbitration Commission.
Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed has been named as the president of the Arbitration Commission which target to deal with tourism issues throughout the Arab world.
“The acceptance of Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed to be in charge of the Commission is a great asset to the Arab Organization for Tourism,” Dr. Bandar bin Fahd Al Fuhaid, the President of Arab Organization for Tourism said.
It is worth mentioning that Arab investments in tourism will reach US $ 323 billion by the end of 2020.
Registering newarchaeological sites
Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) registered 43 archaeological sites in several areas in the kingdom during the second quarter of 2018 as part of the Custodian of the Holy Mosques’ program to save the cultural heritage.
The 43 registered archaeological sites include 26 places in Mecca, 9 places in Asir region, 7 places in Medina and one place in Tabuk.
“The main task for the archaeological national register is to document the sites, as well as, drawing them in digital maps to save the sites,” the SCTH’s registering manager told reporters, after the official announcement.
“The archaeological national register is working on archiving photos of the cultural heritage, as well as, creating solutions for managing antiquities and museums sector,” he added.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage managed to register 8268 archaeological sites until now in different places in the kingdom.
Moreover, the Office of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in the province of Asir listed 19 new archaeological sites in Antiquities Register and Archaeological Records.
“The number of sites listed by SCTH is brought to 214, after registering 19 new archaeological sites during the current year, representing the history of pre-Christmas and early Islam periods.
They were discovered into three provinces, namely Bisha, Thalith and Balqarn”, said Mohammed Al-Omra, The General Director of Tourism and National Heritage Authority in Asir province.
Participating in world travel market show in London
Saudi Arabian public and private tourism companies participated in the in the International Travel Trade Show that organized in London last November.
Number of Saudi Arabian companies working the field of tourism, transport and entertainment has showed their offers during the London show to arrange tourist trips within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The World Travel Market story begins in 1980 when World Travel Market London was launched. The show took place at Olympia London and was opened by the Duke of Kent and Miss World, Kimberly Santos of Guam. The show was attended by 350 exhibitors and 7,753 trade visitors.
Renovating 130 historical mosques
A national project for historic mosques restoration was launched under the supervision of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including 130 mosques in various regions of the kingdom.
The National Program for the Restoration of Historic Mosques will wrap up first phase, renovating 30 mosques in 10 regions at a cost of more than SR 50 million, supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.
The National Program for the Restoration of Historic Mosques is one of the programs adopted by Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTH and founder of Al-Turath Charitable Foundation, as part of his concern to take care of and serve mosques and the Islamic architectural heritage. The foundation has undertaken to document and restore a number of mosques of historical value since its launching of the program in 1998.
The mosques’ renovation project received support of the country’s leaders, businessmen benefactors and the regions’ governors. It is inspired by Mohammed bin Salman’s belief in the significance of historical Islamic heritage sites.
The crown prince’s project for the development of historical mosques will reinforce concern to develop the Kingdom’s historical and heritage regions and restore the mosques to receive worshippers again after they have been abandoned in previous years.
The Kingdom has witnessed a rapid architectural growth and thus has neglected most of the old and historical mosques and destroyed some others, which are being replaced by new mosques.