JEDDAH: Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture and governor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, launched on Wednesday a program of initiatives that will put the local community at the heart of the preservation and development of the region.
The five initiatives came after the prince met with members of the Al-Ula community as part of his vision for developing the region with its inhabitants in mind.
During his visit to the province of Al-Ula, Prince Badr confirmed that everyone in the region is an ambassador of originality, hospitality, heritage and beautiful nature.
He added that everyone will benefit from the outcome of these initiatives, noting that the region will witness more sustainability and prosperity.
The new initiatives include a scholarship program for local students, the creation of a community council, a community heritage action program which will provide 2,500 part-time opportunities, expansion of connectivity and telecommunication in the region and the establishment of a disability rehabilitation and support center.
Prince Badr explained that the scholarship program provides promising opportunities to Al-Ula boys and girls in international elite academic institutions in the US, UK, France and other countries. The students chosen in January 2018 will move by the end of this month to start their scholarship programs abroad.
In the second phase of the program, the commission will provide 300 additional opportunities to double the number of scholarships that will qualify more students to get diplomas, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fields such as tourism, hospitality, agricultural technology, archaeology, history.
Community leaders will be given the opportunity to present their views, submit proposals and solutions on issues related to the development of local infrastructure, protecting the cultural and natural heritage while providing 2,500 part-time jobs for citizens.
The commission will also provide a communication network program that is essential for sustainable development and growth, as well as addressing network issues.
It is also working with a group of partners to enhance the region’s telecommunications network, expand existing coverage and prepare a comprehensive rehabilitation center program to provide support to the Al-Ula community.
Prince Badr met a number of residents in Al-Ula and briefed them on the steps taken to achieve the highest added value to the community during all future stages of development.
He announced the formation of a senate that includes local community leaders, to participate in the region’s infrastructure development for the benefit of everyone.