Growing tourism to be a key topic of G20 Riyadh summit

SCTH Chairman Ahmad Al-Khateeb chairs the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) ministerial summit at the World Travel Market event in London. (SPA)
Updated 09 November 2019

Growing tourism to be a key topic of G20 Riyadh summit

  • Saudi Arabia to attract annual 100m visitors, says SCTH chief

RIYADH: Tourism will be one of the key topics for discussion when Saudi Arabia hosts next year’s G20 summit in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s sector chief has revealed.

The country aims to attract 100 million visitors a year while creating 1 million new jobs by 2030, ministers at a world tourism conference heard.

Ahmad Al-Khateeb, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told a gathering of top travel officials in London that the global tourism sector had grown by 3.9 percent last year, with a staggering 319 million people working in the industry.

Chairing the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) ministerial summit at the World Travel Market event being staged in the British capital, Al-Khateeb said the 2020 G20 gathering would focus on ways to sustain world growth in the sector.


The global tourism sector had grown by 3.9 percent last year, with a staggering 319 million people working in the industry.

“We have ambitious targets and promising plans to invest in the tourism industry and we seek to reach 100 million visits per year to the Kingdom, and generate 1 million new jobs by 2030,” he said.

Al-Khateeb explained the methodology adopted by the Kingdom to develop tourism in a way that ensured the sustainability and protection of communities and rural areas.

He said most countries were aware of the magnitude of the environmental impact of tourism on their urban cities, and this had led them to look for alternative destinations.

The SCTH chief pointed out that more than 80 percent of the Kingdom’s population (34 million people) lived in urban areas and as a result the country was working on protecting and developing rural communities, socially and economically, by supporting a number of technical and creative solutions.

Al-Khateeb added that rural areas of Saudi Arabia were rich with tourist attractions and that the Kingdom boasted 10,000 historical and archaeological sites, many on the UNESCO World Heritage list such as AlUla and Al-Ahsa.

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.