GCC nations investing billions of dollars in cultural tourism

Published on : Tuesday, April 25, 2017

GCC nationsThe six nations in GCC: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are investing billions of dollars in new cultural tourism programs in the coming years.


To quote Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director of the Arabian Travel Market, which starts this week in Dubai, “Across the GCC, there is a rising demand for authentic and enriching travel, full of experiences and opportunities to learn about the unique history and culture of this region.” He added, “For this reason, we can expect many more project announcements of this kind over the coming years.”

Of the six nations, Saudi Arabia is aiming to invest about $2 billion in new cultural projects under its Saudi Vision 2030 plan. It plans to open almost 100 new public and private museums and also plans to increase the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to 10 from four. It also plans to double the visitor-accessible archaeological sites from 75 to 155 and triple the number of archaeological heritage sites. The Kingdom also intends to boost the number of annual cultural festivals and events from 190 to 400.

Oman also invested 2.5 billion in 2015 for its Omagine Project. In the UAE, Saadiyat Island, which is home to a number of renowned hotels, beaches and golf facilities, will soon become a cultural hub for some of the most iconic museums in the world. By 2020, visitors will be able to experience the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Zaha Hadid-designed, Zayed National Museum, which will all be located on Saadiyat Island. Dubai also has a number of cultural projects lined up, with number of new projects underway in Qatar. This year, Qatar will also welcome the highly anticipated National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel.

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