Published on : Monday, April 13, 2020
Hotels and luxury suites in Saudi Arabia are being used quarantine centres and have now quarantined thousands of people to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This action is also providing a temporary lifeline to an industry crippled in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. The move comes just months after tourist visas were launched.
Saudi Arabia has reported the maximum number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Gulf. The petro-state has hence restricted air travel, locked down cities and imposed nationwide curfews in a crisis that has dealt a blow to the nascent tourism sector.
The Saudi government is investing millions of dollars to quarantine thousands of overseas travellers and those exposed to infected people in otherwise empty hotels around the kingdom. Amid the adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis, this action is providing a ray of hope to people associated with the hotel industry.
Numerous hotels are eager to strike similar deals with the government in order to combat the huge slump in business. Hoteliers are desperate to turn their hotels into quarantine facilities irrespective of the risk of harming the brand image in the future for being associated with the disease.
According to the Saudi Arabian Tourism Ministry, nearly 1,900 rooms in hotels and other tourism facilities in Riyadh had been reserved for quarantine cases. In addition, more than 2,800 rooms in Mecca and another 1,900 rooms in the kingdom’s eastern region are being used as quarantine facilities.
The ministry also informed that approximately 11,000 rooms around the kingdom had been prepared to quarantine Saudi citizens stranded abroad who are expected to return to the country this week. It has also said that it is committed to hosting Saudi returnees in hotels across the regions including the most prestigious properties.