Saudi Arabia launches new tourism initiatives within Vision 2030

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Traffic builds up on Sunday in the southwestern mountain city of Baha, which is experiencing an influx of visitors. Rich in natural and archaeological attractions and blessed with a temperate climate, Baha is one of the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. (SPA photo)
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Traffic builds up on Sunday in the southwestern mountain city of Baha, which is experiencing an influx of visitors. Rich in natural and archaeological attractions and blessed with a temperate climate, Baha is one of the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. (SPA photo)
Updated 17 July 2017
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Saudi Arabia launches new tourism initiatives within Vision 2030

RIYADH: As tourism becomes a major driver of the Saudi economy with its huge employment-generating potential, Saudi Arabia has launched six major initiatives to stimulate the travel and tourism industry.
“The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is reviewing its strategies to be in conformity with Vision 2030 and contribute in achieving the goals of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020,” said Mohammed Al-Nashmi, a spokesman of the SCTH.
Al-Nashmi pointed out that SR9.93 billion ($2.64 billion) have been allocated for these projects in the 2017 budget. According to a statement released by the SCTH, “the six initiatives are aimed at streamlining the travel and tourism sector.”
Religious tourism, including Haj and Umrah, has been a major revenue component of the sector. The statement said that one of the six initiatives is “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for taking care of national culture and heritage.” A total of 79 projects will be implemented under this program.
“The Long Live Saudi Arabia Program is another initiative, while the development of Okaz city in Taif is yet another,” he added. Other initiatives include “the Kingdom as a Muslim destination initiative,” “the development of integrated tourism destinations,” and “the Kafalah program initiative” to finance commercial establishments for tourism projects.
While 18 million people visited the Kingdom in 2016, most of them came for pilgrimage. Hence, the SCTH plan is to promote its travel and tourism sector to foreign and domestic tourists. The Kingdom has a large number of interesting archaeological sites, pristine beaches, monuments, and a range of other holiday destinations. It is being promoted to become one of the biggest players in global tourism.
Tourism in Saudi Arabia is expected to generate around 1.2 million jobs for Saudis in the period until 2030. The tourism sector has been earmarked by the government as a key driver for growth in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy. The travel and tourism is the second-largest Saudized sector in the country. It currently employs about 900,000 Saudis.


Arab and Muslim nations, organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s decrees on Khashoggi case

Updated 52 min 50 sec ago
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Arab and Muslim nations, organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s decrees on Khashoggi case

  • UAE, Egypt and Bahrain issued statements commending Saudi Arabia's royal decrees
  • Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, said the king’s decisions “achieve justice and equality”

JEDDAH: Gulf Arab allies have backed the royal decrees issued Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Saturday involving the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

UAE

The UAE on Saturday backed Saudi Arabia’s statements, the official news agency WAM said.

The Gulf Arab state “commends directives and decisions of Saudi King Salman on the issue of Kashoggi,” WAM said on Twitter.

The announcement also said that Saudi Arabia and its leadership is a state of institutions based on justice and equity.

Egypt

Egypt praised what it called the "decisive" and "brave" actions taken by the king.
"Egypt sees that the brave and decisive decisions and actions taken by the Saudi King over this matter align with his majesty's approach that respects the principles of law and applications of effective justice," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It also offered its condolences to Khashoggi's family and said it was confident the investigation would reveal the truth. 

Bahrain

Bahrain praised decisions made by the Saudi king to establish justice, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported.

“Saudi Arabia will remain a state of justice, values and principles,” an official statement quote by the channel said.

Palestine

Palestine commended King Salman's decisions to affirm justice and fairness.

The statement also stressed that Saudi Arabia, under the wise leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will remain the state of justice, values and principles.

Yemen

Yemen on Saturday praised decisions made by King Salman in relation to Khashoggi's death , according to the legitimate government’s state news agency.

Djibouti

Djibouti praised King Salman's decisions and said they are proof that Saudi Arabia is a nation of values, principles, and justice.

Arab and Muslim Organizations

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday praised the Kingdom's transparency and its emphasis on the implementation of justice.

Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, on Saturday said the king’s decisions on the death of Khashoggi “achieve justice and equality in accordance with Islamic law”, according to a statement on state news agency SPA.