Saudi Arabia hopes to make it big in tourism

Published on : Thursday, February 23, 2017

Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia as a whole has lots to offer to tourists. But it isn’t fully ready for tourists. Its rulers are intent on revolutionizing the economy, and tourism is high on their list. They are of the opinion that tourism can create lots of jobs for the youth and earn revenue to reduce oil dependence.


Tourism can help open Saudi Tourism to the world. The country attracts a lot of foreign tourists and attracted around 18 million last year. It’s the greatest in the Arab world. But they’re almost all Muslim tourists visiting Mecca. Saudi Arabia doesn’t even issue tourist visas. Its alcohol ban, strict dress code, and regulations on gender mixing are red flags for many people who’d be happy to visit Dubai’s beaches or Egypt’s pyramids.

Its secret police often keep a watch on foreign tourists and religious police chastise people for moral violations. Many Saudis themselves prefer to vacation in Dubai, where they can wear what they want and go to nightclubs or movie theaters. In charge of the tourism drive in Saudi is Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and a son of the king. He said the kingdom is finally waking up to ideas he’s been promoting for years.


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