Saudi Arabia opens up undiscovered coastlines for visitors

Published on : Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Saudi ArabiaThe sky is clear, the sun is bright, and the sea is a glimmering turquoise. What better day to discover the underwater around a small, sandy island in the Red Sea which is home to all the busy crabs and a few seagulls.

Alosaimi, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, is established in her field, having a local record for the deepest dive by a Saudi female at 105 metres. The technical dive required five tanks and lasted for more than 70 minutes.

Her zeal and love for diving takes her on an hour-long ride in bus to work each day from Jeddah to King Abdullah Economic City. She works at a dive centre there which was lately opened at the Bay La Sun Marina and Yacht Club in preparation for the kingdom’s plans to open up to tourists in 2018.

For years, visitors to Saudi Arabia have majorly been pilgrims going to Mecca and Medina or business travellers to Riyadh, or other significant cities like Jeddah and Dammam.

Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old successor to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is all set to alter that with the introduction of visas for the tourists. It’s part of a huge plan to revitalize the economy in the face of sustained lower oil prices. Tourism is being endorsed as domain to generate more jobs for Saudis, lure foreign investment, perk up the economy and improve the country’s image abroad.

“Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country that hosts the two holiest sites in Islam and these facts need to be respected whenever (tourists) travel around, enjoy themselves and engage with people,” he said.


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