Korean Air to resume direct flights to Kingdom’s cities

Updated 10 October 2012

Korean Air to resume direct flights to Kingdom’s cities

Korean Air said yesterday it will resume direct flights between Korea and Saudi Arabia starting on Nov. 9. The announcement was made during an event about Connect Korea at the Sofitel Hotel in Alkhobar.
Ha Man-kee, Korean Air regional manager in the Kingdom, said: “We will commence the direct service three times a week, flying from Seoul/Incheon first to Riyadh and then onto Jeddah. The Seoul/Incheon-Riyadh-Jeddah flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” He continued, “Saudi Arabia and Korea have had commercial connections. In the 1970s and 1980s, the time known as the ‘Middle East Boom’ years, Korean companies won many valuable construction contracts, contributing greatly to Korea’s economic progress.”
To facilitate travel between the two nations, Korean Air operated flights to Jeddah and Dhahran, the biggest markets in the region at that time. The demand for plant construction in Saudi Arabia has once more increased, and again Korean construction companies are part of the new boom. “Korean Air expects the demand for passenger traffic in the region to increase with high growth potential,” he said.
Ha Man-Kee pointed out that the network expansion would also be of interest to transit passengers from neighboring countries to Korea, including Japan and China, who will travel to Saudi Arabia via Korean Air’s hub in Seoul. He added, “We hope to attract business travelers visiting Saudi Arabia.”


Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

Updated 11 July 2020

Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

  • Saudis turn to domestic traveling and flock to their nation’s cooler cities and rural areas

TAIF: As Saudi citizens turn to domestic tourism in the country’s summer resorts, adapting to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, rural areas have become targeted by local tourists wishing to get away from the soaring temperatures in most of the Kingdom’s cities.

Visitors are now choosing cold Saudi cities instead of Europe, which they are accustomed to visiting, such as Taif, Al-Baha, and Abha.

COVID-19 has postponed all plans to travel abroad, and attention has now focused on domestic tourism amid strict health protocols in parks, gardens and recreational areas.

Walid Al-Hamidi, vice president of the Tourism Development Council, confirmed to Arab News that Asir, with its facilities and attractions, was ready to receive summer visitors from across the country.

He said that under the directives of Asir's governor, who supervises all activities and events directly and constantly, many committees had been formed to prepare a successful summer tourism season, to optimize the opportunity and allow people to enjoy the exceptional ambiance of Asir.

“A comprehensive tourism plan was set up two years ago, which resulted in a successful Al-Soudah Season with the support of Asir’s Investment Authority,” Al-Hamidi added.

He noted that Asir’s directives aimed this year to build an exceptional tourism model that meets optimal health standards in dealing with COVID-19.

The model is supported by the “Nashama Asir” team — consisting of 4,000 volunteers — who have been trained for months and have all the necessary skills to make the season successful. Their work will continue until the end of the pandemic and throughout the summer.

“Everyone is ready at public facilities, gardens and parks, to serve tourists,” he said, adding “tourists coming from all the over the Kingdom will be welcomed with smiles, enhanced services, and warm welcomes.”

Dr. Sami Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Taif, told Arab News that the tourism sector was the economic backbone of any country or city.

He said that Taif was considered one of the most important tourist cities, given its many attractions  that made it top of any list of places to visit in the Kingdom.

“Suspending travel abroad, and limiting tourism … due to the coronavirus pandemic, makes us, as officials and citizens in Taif, well placed for a beautiful and safe tourism season for Taif’s citizens and visitors,” said Al-Obaidi.

“Meetings are held around the clock, headed by Saad Al-Maimouni, the governor of Taif, with the participation of the relevant authorities.”

He expected all sectors, especially tourism, hospitality and a few other businesses in Taif, to recover to some extent during this season, especially now tourists have already started flocking to the region, with numbers set to increase over the coming weeks.