Saudi tourism authority seeks to boost number of Saudis in tourism sector

The Kingdom is taking several measures to boost tourism sector. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 April 2019

Saudi tourism authority seeks to boost number of Saudis in tourism sector

  • Takamul center participates in Taif employment forum

TAIF: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), represented by the National Center for Human Resources Development (Takamul), participated in the third employment forum organized by the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation in Taif.
“Our objective is to raise the number of Saudi nationals in tourism, and to raise local public awareness about the prospects of tourist activities, which are considered one of the most important sectors of employment for young Saudis,” said Mohammed Al-Boqmi, the director of SCTH in Taif.
During the forum, Takamul representatives presented employment and training panels to the audience. They also ran a training program, “Skills of preparing and presenting CVs,” for young people searching for job opportunities in the tourism sector.
Takamul cooperates with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to encourage young people to apply for jobs in tourism.
Recently, the SCTH’s branch in the Kingdom’s Tabuk region issued licenses to three Saudi women after they underwent special training.
According to a Takamul report, since its launch 474 female students have benefitted from the “Your Job ... Your Scholarship” program, and 9,631 have taken part in training provided as part of the National Transformation Program 2020.
The report also noted that 205 female tour guides took part in workshops run by Takamul, studying at 14 colleges across the Kingdom. 
Saudi Arabia is implementing several measures to boost the tourism sector. Saudi Vision 2030 places great emphasis on diversifying the Kingdom’s economy by opening up different avenues.
The Kingdom is investing billions of dollars in sports and entertainment as it seeks to reform and diversify its economy, part of a wide-ranging Vision 2030 program introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The country is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis.
Formula E motor racing, WWE wrestling and world title boxing events have also been added to the country’s sporting calendar in the past 12 months.
Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said this year that infrastructure investments in the next decade would reach SR240 billion ($64 billion), contribute SR18 billion to the Saudi economy and generate 224,000 new jobs by 2030.
Tourists will be offered special “event” visas to visit Saudi Arabia as part of plans by the Kingdom to become a major global entertainment destination.
The new one-off visas will allow foreign visitors to choose from the growing number of sporting, entertainment and business attractions available in the country.
Announcing the new visa category, the Saudi Cabinet said embassies and consulates would be able to issue the visas within 24 hours of receiving a request.
Under the visa upgrade, the Kingdom’s General Investment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority will provide the Foreign Affairs Ministry and state security with details of events at least two months beforehand. The details will then be included in the visa system.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”