Published on : Tuesday, November 7, 2017
It comes in the middle of a huge push to expand the Red Sea coastline of the Kingdom and make the most of tourism spending by the millions of Muslims who visit the Kingdom every year during the time of Hajj and Umrah.
“We want to beat Dubai, Malaysia and Turkey to the top spot,” explained a senior official at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCNH) in an interview on the sidelines of the World Travel Market in London.
To quote a spokesman, “We have different projects in the pipeline and we are developing our pilgrimage sites. We are opening up our historical sites, we have five UNESCO sites and we are aiming to have 10 by 2020. We have everything in Saudi. Our history gives us competitive advantage. We have a beautiful natural landscape and thousands of years of Islamic and pre-Islamic history. We are open to all.”
“For Muslims, we have the advantage that everything is already halal here.”
Saudi Arabia is gearing up to revamp Red Sea coastline’s hundreds of kilometers as a global tourism hotspot. It enlisted the help of Virgin Group chief Richard Branson to suggest on the ambitious project, which is a key plank of continuing economic reforms.
The Kingdom, currently in the “final stages” of endorsing its much-anticipated tourist visas that would allow unrestricted leisure travel in the country, as confirmed by the spokesman.
“We expect the tourist visa to be in issuance within six months.”
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