Saudi Arabia's heritage and investment bodies collaborate for tourism funding

Updated 21 April 2017
0

Saudi Arabia's heritage and investment bodies collaborate for tourism funding

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) are working together to support tourism investment in the Kingdom.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTH president and Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal, the acting governor of SAGIA, held a meeting to discuss issues related to cooperation between the two organizations and proper ways of developing the investment environment in the tourism sector, the SCTH media department said Thursday.
The next phase will be the signing of an agreement of cooperation to support the joint efforts on tourism investment, it added.
“We look at SAGIA as a major partner in the national economy, which focuses on investments and we welcome the cooperation and integration between SCTH and SAGIA, which has set a major course for investment in tourism as one of the main tracks for the future of investment in the Kingdom,” Prince Sultan said.
He also said that during the coming period, competitiveness in the tourism sector would be enhanced to increase the level of tourism experience and increased readiness.
The SCTH chief maintained that investment opportunities in the tourism sector have a multiplier effect on the high economic returns, promoting local development in the less developed regions as well as jobs for citizens of different ages and educational levels.
As the tourism and heritage have become a strong economic industry and a key generator of investment, the SCTH has prepared many locations for citizens to invest in this sector.
Moreover, several tourism projects will be announced this summer to support the tourism investment.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
0

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

  • Qiddiya Project is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom
  • The first phase will be completed by 2022

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman will launch the construction of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh Wednesday, authorities said, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects as the Kingdom seeks to diversity its oil-reliant economy.
The 334-square kilometer project in Qiddiya, southwest of Riyadh, would rival Walt Disney and include high-end theme parks, motor sport facilities and a safari park, officials say.
The facility highlights a “relentless effort to develop giga-projects that will help achieve many direct and indirect economic returns,” project official Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi was quoted as saying in a government statement on Monday.
Qiddiya chief executive Michael Reininger said he expects the project will draw foreign investors in entertainment and other sectors, but did not specify the total cost of construction.
Such projects are the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled liberal change agent who is the chief architect of the sweeping “Vision 2030” reform program.
Saudi Arabia has dazzled investors with several plans for hi-tech “giga projects,” funded in part by its sovereign wealth fund, but some skeptics question their viability in an era of cheap oil.
The Kingdom has unveiled blueprints to build NEOM, a mega project billed as a regional Silicon Valley, in addition to the Red Sea project, a reef-fringed resort destination — both worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Analysts say the projects could create funding pressures at a time when the government faces a yawning budget deficit and growth in the Kingdom’s non-oil economy is only slowly gathering pace.
The reform stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on entertainment as the Kingdom has been reeling from an oil slump since 2014.
Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighboring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector in the coming decade.