Media spotlight falls on Saudi Arabia’s most historic sites

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Journalists and writers visited Al-Halawa Museum Market, Al-Subaie House, the Husseini Mosque, the House of Mashreq and the heritage village of Ishiqar. (Saad Al-Dosari / AN Photo)
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Journalists and writers visited Al-Halawa Museum Market, Al-Subaie House, the Husseini Mosque, the House of Mashreq and the heritage village of Ishiqar. (Saad Al-Dosari / AN Photo)
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Journalists and writers visited Al-Halawa Museum Market, Al-Subaie House, the Husseini Mosque, the House of Mashreq and the heritage village of Ishiqar. (Saad Al-Dosari / AN Photo)
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Journalists and writers visited Al-Halawa Museum Market, Al-Subaie House, the Husseini Mosque, the House of Mashreq and the heritage village of Ishiqar. (Saad Al-Dosari / AN Photo)
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Journalists and writers visited Al-Halawa Museum Market, Al-Subaie House, the Husseini Mosque, the House of Mashreq and the heritage village of Ishiqar. (Saad Al-Dosari / AN Photo)
Updated 18 December 2018
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Media spotlight falls on Saudi Arabia’s most historic sites

  • Journalists were taken on a cultural and heritage tour of key locations aimed at showcasing the Najd region of the Kingdom as a top visitor destination
  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) organized the trip, concentrated around the old towns of Shaqra and Ushaiger

RIYADH: Some of Saudi Arabia’s most historic sites on Sunday went under the media spotlight as part of a drive to boost tourism. Journalists were taken on a cultural and heritage tour of key locations aimed at showcasing the Najd region of the Kingdom as a top visitor destination.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) organized the trip, concentrated around the old towns of Shaqra and Ushaiger, to coincide with the Colors of Saudi Arabia forum that aims to strengthen national tourism.
Places visited by the group of journalists and writers included Al-Halawa Museum Market, Al-Subaie House, the Husseini Mosque, the House of Mashreq and the heritage village of Ishiqar. They also went to a desert camp, watched cultural shows and ate locally produced cuisine.
Abdulrahman Al-Manee, whose Al-Halawa Museum Market shop was visited by the group, told Arab News: “Collecting antiques and cultural pieces has been my hobby for more than 50 years.”
He graduated from the fine arts school at King Saud University, and has a website where he sells his products throughout the Kingdom and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The SCTH presented a workshop for media professionals during the tour. Majid Al-Hasna, director of media relations at the SCTH, said it is keen to organize more trips for journalists to the Kingdom’s archaeological, historical, heritage and tourism sites.
Since its inception, the SCTH acts as a stimulation center, works in close partnership with relevant partners to achieve the vision and mission of tourism sector in the Kingdom. It acts as a primary booster for sustainable tourism development in line with the Islamic principles and social, cultural and environmental values prevailing in the Kingdom.
Earlier this month, the SCTH organized a presentation about the Kingdom’s drive to attract more Muslim visitors.
“Destination for Muslims” is part of the Vision 2030 reform plan and aims to make the Kingdom the preferred destination for followers of the faith around the world.
The SCTH was taking part in a workshop in Madinah organized by Taibah University to develop programs to increase the stay of visitors to the city.
Other participants came from the education, service and private sectors. The Kingdom is investing in tourism, aiming to increase spending by Saudis at home instead of on holidays abroad.
The commission is committed to facilitate successful and sustainable development of the tourism industry by providing a clear direction for the industry, and working in close partnership with industry leaders and partners to find and create a climate in which the tourism industry is expected to achieve a high degree of self-sufficiency.
The commission plans to strengthen the capacity of the sector for the protection of monuments and museums, prospecting exploration and studies, recording monuments and effects, developing of museums and architectural heritage, increasing knowledge of cultural heritage effectively through the Department of Antiquities and Museums, create cultural resources to be developed and presented to the community for promoting cultural tourism, and stimulate private sector investment in the projects of monuments and museums.
Saudi Arabia wants to achieve through tourism, an economically and socially enriching diversity, generate employment for its citizens and maintain environmental and cultural authenticity of the land. This task depends on the active participation between the public and private sectors.


Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.