Saudi tourism chief: Japanese people interested in learning ‘world’s cultures’

Prince Sultan bin Salman visits the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition in Tokyo. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2018

Saudi tourism chief: Japanese people interested in learning ‘world’s cultures’

  • Naruhito welcomed Prince Sultan and expressed appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom at regional and international levels
  • Prince Sultan also visited the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the National Museum in Tokyo

JEDDAH: Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito received Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), at his palace in Tokyo on Thursday.

Naruhito welcomed Prince Sultan and expressed appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom at regional and international levels.

Prince Sultan conveyed the greetings of King Salman to the leadership of Japan, wishing the Japanese people progress and prosperity, and expressing keenness to consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries.

Prince Sultan also visited the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the National Museum in Tokyo. He said that King Salman has been supporting the archaeology sector in the Kingdom since its establishment 50 years ago.

Prince Sultan said that more than 250,000 people had visited, the largest turnout for any touring exhibition at the museum.

The exhibition’s next stop will be in Greece, in the middle of summer, following an invitation from Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during his visit to the Kingdom.

The exhibition will also visit Abu Dhabi, at the invitation of the UAE government, before moving on more countries.

Prince Sultan said that Japanese people were very cultivated, aware and interested in learning about the world’s cultures, and those of the Arabian Peninsula in particular.

He said that the SCTH is currently working on more than 230 tourist and heritage projects and is coordinating with its partners on transport services and airports.

The Kingdom had been supporting and developing the tourist sector with billions of dollars, he said, in line with the strategy of developing national tourism advanced by the SCTH and adopted by the state in 2005.

Prince Sultan said that the Kingdom was experiencing high tourist growth and was considered one of the fastest-growing states in the region in hotel room numbers, which had increased by 6,000. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years, he said.

 


Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

  • “You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness,” Prince Khalid said
  • The ambassador encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it

LONDON: Riyadh does not seek conflict with Tehran but will not let “Iran’s meddling in the region” go unchecked, said the Saudi ambassador to Britain. 
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek escalation. We have always been supporters of taking a firm stand against Iran. Our issue is not with the people of Iran, it is with the regime running the country,” Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan told the Daily Telegraph. 
“But we do not believe in appeasement. At no point in history has appeasement proved to be a successful strategy. You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness.”
France, Germany and the UK, three of the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), triggered a “dispute resolution mechanism” recently in response to Iran ramping up its nuclear program in violation of the deal.
Prince Khalid criticized the JCPOA because it does not address “all the other things that Iran” is doing in the region.
“Iran’s meddling in the region is as challenging as the nuclear program. This is why we were concerned with the nuclear deal,” he said.
The ambassador also touched on recent allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in hacking the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“It is very easy for people to throw these unsubstantiated allegations against Saudi Arabia because they know that it is very difficult for Riyadh to defend itself when it does not have proper access to the details,” Prince Khalid said.
“We need to see the evidence before we make any response, because the evidence made public so far is circumstantial at best.”
Saudis do not always represent themselves well because they are “a reticent people and our culture does not push us to talking about ourselves,” he said. “We need to do a better job on showing the world who we really are.” 
The ambassador, who was appointed last year, encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it. 
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. We want people to come and see Saudi Arabia for themselves, and not rely on what they have read somewhere or heard somewhere to form their opinion of the country,” he said.
“There is plenty to see, and you will find a warm, generous and hospitable people there waiting to greet you.”