SCTH funds second group of Saudi hotel and tourism projects

The SCTH and the Ministry of Finance have approved financing for seven hotel and tourism projects projects at a cost of more than SR150 million. Above, Al Koot Heritage Hotel in Al Ahsa. (Reuters)
Updated 02 August 2018

SCTH funds second group of Saudi hotel and tourism projects

  • The projects are being financed as part of SCTH’s initiative to encourage tourism and hospitality in less developed regions
  • Joint committee formed by SCTH and the Ministry of Finance has approved financing for seven projects

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has begun the second phase of financing for hotel and tourism projects in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The projects are being financed as part of SCTH’s initiative to encourage tourism and hospitality in less developed regions.

SCTH’s director-general of tourism investment, Abdul Majid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Nasser, said that the initiative with the Ministry of Finance approved financing for seven projects at a cost of more than SR150 million ($40 million).

The actual cost of these projects exceeds SR400 million, he said.

Al-Nasser said: “This step would largely contribute to increasing the number of hotel rooms in the target region, providing new employment opportunities, and achieving comprehensive tourism development.”

As part of the National Transformation Program 2020, the directives and supervision of the president of SCTH, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, aim to encourage investors in the tourism sector and provide loans to hotel and tourism projects in less developed regions.

The SCTH is working with a number of investors to complete their requests for financing their hotel and tourism projects worth more than SR550 million.

Al-Nasser said that the joint committee formed by SCTH and the Ministry of Finance is studying funding for six projects worth more than SR210 million.

Investors who wish to seek funding can visit SCTH’s main office, or one of its branch offices, to apply. They can also visit SCTH’s website to review the terms and conditions.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”