Tourism boost for Madinah, hub of Islamic and historical sites

People enjoy the performance of a horse rider at a recent event in Madinah. (AN photo)
Updated 06 February 2018
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Tourism boost for Madinah, hub of Islamic and historical sites

MADINAH: Big steps are being taken to attract more visitors to Madinah, one of Saudi Arabia’s most important tourist regions. It has many Islamic and historical sites, most of them linked with the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
They include historical mosques and the locations of battles. Madinah was the capital of Islamic culture in 2013 and the capital of Islamic tourism in 2017, and it witnessed tremendous progress in the tourism sector.
Khalid bin Hussein Al-Shahrani, director general of the Madinah branch of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told Arab News: “Madinah is witnessing continuous activity in the tourism sector thanks to the support and guidance of Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah Region and chairman of the Tourism Development Council in the region.
“Madinah is considered one of the pillars of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 and Vision 2030. Therefore, the Tourism Development Board seeks to revitalize tourism through many steps, including the development of facilities and service sites in addition to the preparation of the tourist accommodation sector which reached 565 facilities in Madinah area, as well as packages of activities and entertainment programs.”
The region will implement a number of investment projects that will contribute to the revitalization of tourism, providing revenue and more job opportunities in this vital sector, said Al-Shahrani.
He said Madinah includes 173 licensed travel and tourism agencies, and the SCTH is to license 55 tour operators and eight offices for booking tourist accommodation. The number of accredited tourist guides in the SCTH in Madinah has reached 63.
Shahrani also noted that Madinah runs tourist buses, which cover historical, heritage and tourist sites in the region. This project was launched in conjunction with the coronation of Madinah as the capital of Islamic tourism for the year 2017.


Minister of Islamic Affairs meets senior guests of Hajj and Umrah 2018 program

Updated 15 min 5 sec ago
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Minister of Islamic Affairs meets senior guests of Hajj and Umrah 2018 program

  • Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said that the hosting program is a service for scholars, preachers, sheikhs and influential people in the Islamic world
  • Al-Asheikh highlighted the importance of the role played by scholars to explain the message of Islam and the moderate approach that fights radicalism and extremism

JEDDAH: The hospitality of King Salman highlights his interest in Islam, scholars, as well as the security and stability of Islamic countries, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, said during a speech to senior guests of the Hajj and Umrah 2018 program.
Al-Asheikh conveyed the greetings of the king and the crown prince. “I welcome the guests of the program in Saudi Arabia, their second country,” he said. “I wish you all good times of faith in the holy sites, as well as easy Hajj and Umrah rituals. May you enjoy days full of faith next to the Kaaba.”
He said that the hosting program is a service for scholars, preachers, sheikhs and influential people in the Islamic world. There is no doubt that the Islamic world has many prominent elites that have great influence on education and fatwa; this is why the program stresses conveying the Saudi message of serving the Muslim world to these elites, he said.
Al-Asheikh highlighted the importance of the role played by scholars to explain the message of Islam and the moderate approach that fights radicalism and extremism. “You are the best model in your country. You carry the message of Islam and spread the truth there, explaining many crucial concepts,” he said.
He said that King Salman and the crown prince are continuously supervising work to develop the holy sites and organize the Hajj and Umrah journey for the best of the pilgrims.
The minister listened to the speeches of senior guests who noted the continuous efforts of the Kingdom under the leadership the king and the crown prince, serving Islam and Muslims and defending their causes.
The senior guests thanked the Kingdom for this program that reflects the leadership’s attention to scholars and influential figures in countries around the world.
Al-Asheikh has started his visit to the guests’ residence in Makkah, inspecting the hotel facilities, and making sure all committees are ready. During his visit to the medical committee, he checked on the guests and emphasized the need to provide medical care around the clock and ensure that there is nothing to impede Hajj rituals.