JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), inspected ongoing work to develop Rijal Alma village in Asir region.
He met the team assigned to implement urgent projects and development so as to register the village on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The state, under King Salman, has given its full support to making the Kingdom a distinctive tourist destination, Prince Sultan said.
The tourism sector represents a new economic resource that will provide thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, he added.
Prince Sultan praised the people of Asir region, particularly those who live in Rijal Alma, for their belief in preserving national heritage.
The village will be transformed into a global tourist attraction, highlighting Asir’s history and heritage, he said.
The village of Rijal Alma had won the Prince Sultan bin Salman Award for Urban Heritage in 2007 and has become a tourist destination for those visiting the region of Asir. This importance comes as a result of the numerous historical, cultural, heritage and natural factors, and the hospitality and culture of its residents.
The SCTH, since its inception, has accorded a great deal of attention to Asir as a major tourist destination, he added.
Initiatives include “tourism projects and activities on the Red Sea, the rehabilitation of heritage sites and villages, the establishment of museums,” and “the stimulation of tourism and hotel investment,” Prince Sultan said.
He thanked Asir’s governor and his deputy for their unwavering support for the SCTH’s work.
Prince Sultan ordered that development work be carried out around Rijal Alma by providing tourist sites and accommodation. He met and spoke with residents of the village.
Prince Turki bin Talal, Asir’s deputy governor, praised the efforts of the SCTH and Prince Sultan to make the Kingdom a global tourist destination.
Prince Sultan held a meeting at Rijal Alma, during which he was briefed on the project’s progress.
Over 10 years, the SCTH has succeeded in registering five Saudi sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List: Madain Saleh in 2008, Turaif neighborhood in 2010, historic Jeddah in 2014, the Rock Art of Hail province in 2015, and Al-Ahsa Oasis in 2018.