Al-Ula, Diriyah Gate to become major tourist attractions

The layered rock formations of Mount Athlib to the northeast of Mada’en Saleh.
Updated 27 July 2017

Al-Ula, Diriyah Gate to become major tourist attractions

JEDDAH: King Salman has decreed the establishment of commissions to develop two of Saudi Arabia’s most important archaeological and historical sites, Al-Ula and Diriyah Gate.
The boards of both commissions will be headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two areas’ historical, cultural and architectural significance is expected to make them major tourist attractions as the Saudi hospitality and tourism industry matures to welcome local and international travelers.
The orders to establish the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Province and the Diriyah Gate Renovation Commission are in line with Vision 2030, which seeks to develop tourism in the Kingdom to attract more than 1 million visitors annually.
Al-Ula town was founded in the 6th century and serves as the gateway to the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mada’en Saleh, which was built more than 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeans, who also built Petra in Jordan.
Diriyah was the first capital of the Saudi royal dynasty from 1744 to 1818, and is an excellent example of the Najdi architecture of that period.


GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.