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

Updated 21 April 2017
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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.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 27 min 29 sec ago
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”