Saudi tourism body launches instant tourism licensing system

Al-Sawda Park in Abha. Tourism to Saudi Arabia is a strategic part of the Vision 2030 plan. (Photo/Saudi Tourism)
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Updated 25 February 2020

Saudi tourism body launches instant tourism licensing system

  • The portal is dedicated to issuing licenses, , including accommodation booking and trip organization

RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has launched a new series of electronic services for the online licensing of a number of tourism activities.

The launch of the system, in tandem with the General Administration of Licensing, is in order to ease the growth in the tourism sector and facilitate the fast-tracking of licensing. It will raise the quality of tourism in the Kingdom, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan to implement the adoption of electronic advancements.

Investors can visit the online portal dedicated to issuing licenses for the list of activities covered by the system, including accommodation booking and trip organization.

This comes in the context of the SCTH’s efforts aiming to create an attractive environment for investment in the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia, and keep pace with the increasing demand for tourism in the Kingdom after the launch of the new tourist visa for visitors from all over the world. This is all in line with Riyadh’s goal to make tourism a sustainable economic sector, capable of competing internationally, that contributes to supporting the economy.

$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

Updated 36 min 30 sec ago

$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

  • Saudi capital’s planning chief unveils ambitious strategy ahead of G20 urban development summit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is launching a SR3 trillion ($800 billion) plan to double the size of Riyadh in the next decade and transform it into an economic, social and cultural hub for the region.

The ambitious strategy for the capital city was unveiled by Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, ahead of key meetings of the U20, the arm of the G20 leaders’ summit that deals with urban development and strategy.

“Riyadh is already a very important economic engine for the Kingdom, and although it’s already very successful, the plan now, under Vision 2030, is to actually take that way further, to double the population to 15 million people,” he told Arab News.

“We’ve already launched 18 megaprojects in the city, worth over SR1 trillion, over $250 billion, to both improve livability and deliver much higher economic growth so we can create jobs and double the population in 10 years. It’s a significant plan and the whole city is working to make sure this happens.”

About $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.

“We must also ensure the growth is managed properly, so there will be a focus on transport and logistics, including the Riyadh metro which will open at the beginning of next year. The aim is to increase productivity,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plan involves the creation of a “mega industrial zone” focusing on advanced technology such as renewables and automation, and biotechnology and aquaponics. Another key feature is sustainability, with energy conservation, the circular carbon economy with its emphasis on reducing emissions, and water management, all priorities.

“You will see 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years, and King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” Al-Rasheed said.


  • 18 megaprojects have already been launched worth over $250 billion.
  • 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years.
  • King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London.

The city also aims to be a Middle East artistic and cultural hub. An opera house is being considered, as well as public art shows with 1,000 works commissioned from around the world. “We have not seen anything like it since Renaissance Florence,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plans will be discussed this week during online meetings of the U20 linking Riyadh with Houston. The Texas oil capital is suffering a new spike in coronavirus cases and pandemics will be on the agenda. “We want to deal with this one, but also be ready for the next one,” Al-Rasheed said.