Size of tourism industry crosses SR100m mark

Updated 02 August 2015

Size of tourism industry crosses SR100m mark

RIYADH: The size of the tourism industry has crossed the SR100-million mark with around 130 organizations in the field and the revenues generated through festivals are approximately SR11 billion annually, experts have said.
The figures have been provided by industry experts to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH).
"The revenue is generated through tourism trips organized by the festivals, in addition to the hotel occupancy and their activities such as visits to malls, restaurants and service centers in all the provinces where the festivals feature, an SCTNH spokesman said on Friday.
He said that the experts and economists who coordinate with the SCTNH strongly believe that the tourism event industry is a key economic driver.
Abdullah bin Abdul Malik Al-Morshid, acting director general of programs and products in SCTNH, said: “Tourism events enjoy high demand because of their benefits to the local communities. They also help in the marketing of agricultural products, promoting handicraft products and creating new employment opportunities for locals, particular for the youth," he underlined.
Al Morshid further said the SCTNH recently announced its comprehensive program for the development of tourism events in the Kingdom for 2014-2018. The SCTNH pays a close attention to support tourism festivals through the “Tourism event support program,” which resulted in more than 50,000 temporary jobs since 2005, he said.
Mogbil Al-Mogbil, a prominent event operator and investor in tourism events, considers it as one of the most important areas for future investment in the Kingdom. He stressed on the role of SCTNH in regulating and developing this industry and turning it into a professional business "because the industry still faces some challenges, the most important of them being holding of tourism festivals linked to public holidays."
Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Mahwoos, another event operator, said: “This activity achieves high investment returns. Event management is an important industry that requires professional operators, particularly in the area of investment."
He appreciated the SCTNH for support to tourism event operators and organization of international tours.
Notably, tourism event industry is a new and promising economic activity poised to grow rapidly in the light of significant increase in festivals annually. Different areas in the Kingdom annually host more than 100 festivals around the year, including entertainment, shopping, desert and heritage festivals and some events related to agricultural products and entertainment festivals.


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.”