Saudi tourism chief: Japanese people interested in learning ‘world’s cultures’

Prince Sultan bin Salman visits the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition in Tokyo. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2018
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Saudi tourism chief: Japanese people interested in learning ‘world’s cultures’

  • Naruhito welcomed Prince Sultan and expressed appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom at regional and international levels
  • Prince Sultan also visited the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the National Museum in Tokyo

JEDDAH: Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito received Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), at his palace in Tokyo on Thursday.

Naruhito welcomed Prince Sultan and expressed appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom at regional and international levels.

Prince Sultan conveyed the greetings of King Salman to the leadership of Japan, wishing the Japanese people progress and prosperity, and expressing keenness to consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries.

Prince Sultan also visited the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the National Museum in Tokyo. He said that King Salman has been supporting the archaeology sector in the Kingdom since its establishment 50 years ago.

Prince Sultan said that more than 250,000 people had visited, the largest turnout for any touring exhibition at the museum.

The exhibition’s next stop will be in Greece, in the middle of summer, following an invitation from Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during his visit to the Kingdom.

The exhibition will also visit Abu Dhabi, at the invitation of the UAE government, before moving on more countries.

Prince Sultan said that Japanese people were very cultivated, aware and interested in learning about the world’s cultures, and those of the Arabian Peninsula in particular.

He said that the SCTH is currently working on more than 230 tourist and heritage projects and is coordinating with its partners on transport services and airports.

The Kingdom had been supporting and developing the tourist sector with billions of dollars, he said, in line with the strategy of developing national tourism advanced by the SCTH and adopted by the state in 2005.

Prince Sultan said that the Kingdom was experiencing high tourist growth and was considered one of the fastest-growing states in the region in hotel room numbers, which had increased by 6,000. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years, he said.

 


We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States help build stronger ties. (AN photo)
Updated 19 September 2018
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We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

  • We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States: US Public Affairs Counselor in KSA

RIYADH: Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States “help build stronger ties between the two countries and bring them closer together,” according to Brian Shott, the new US Public Affairs Counselor in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a reception to welcome him at the US embassy in Riyadh on September 18, he said: “One of the main things we do is we try to share aspects of the United States and of American culture, but we also learn from Saudis and Saudi culture.” 

In her opening speech, the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong also highlighted the enduring relationship between the two countries, saying: “Tonight is a celebration, a celebration of a friendship that has extended over many, many decades.”

Shott, who previously served in Morocco, Cairo and Baghdad, will be in Saudi Arabia for the next two years, during which he will promote educational and cultural exchanges.

“There are some real opportunities here and we have been fortunate enough to be able take advantage of partnerships with Saudi organizations and Saudi agencies, whether it is the General Authority for Culture or the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the reception also served as a farewell to Robin Yeager, the cultural attache in Riyadh. She said that it had been a “very dynamic time to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be here at a time when I get to know first-hand the future that Saudis are trying to build.”

The night that women were were given the right to drive, she said she went out and saw the “thrill on their faces.” To assist with empowerment and other progressive policies, embassy staff work on social issues and provide leadership training for women’s groups, she said.

“It is beautiful because they take something that an American expert talks to them about and they turn it into the Saudi way to approach it,” she added. “It’s not that we are changing things; it’s that we are giving them tools, so they can build what they want to build.”