In continuation with Saudi Arabia’s efforts to build out the country’s hospitality and tourism industry, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued a decry to establish commissions to develop two new historical sites: Al-Ula and Diriyah Gate.
Compelling to both local and international travelers, both sites are rich in Saudi Arabian architecture, culture and history, and are expected to be rich additions to the Kingdom’s list of tourism destinations. Founded in the 6th century, Al-Ula Province acts as a gateway to Made’an Saleh, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made’en Saleh was built more than 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeeans, the same group who built Petra in Jordan. As the first capital of the Saudi royal dynasty from 1744 to 1818, Diriyah, will attract visitors with iconic Najdi architecture found in that period.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be the head of the boards of both commissions. The commissions of the sites are in line with Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s dynamic socio-economic development plan which seeks to attract more than 1 million visitors annually to Saudi Arabia.
Vision 2030 and The Expansion of Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Industry
Vision 2030’s activities have shined the spotlight on the importance, and value of Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector. The plan’s goals include increasing the country’s capacity to welcome Umrah visitors from 3 million to 8 million per year, doubling the number of heritage sites listed on the UNESCO register and attracting more than 1 million visitors annually.
Since the development of the Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia successfully created new sites that are already boosting the tourism sector. Other successful projects that Vision 2030 has sparked include the hiring of 8,000 tour guides and pledging $20 million to protect cultural heritage sites. With so many enriching cultural, architectural and spiritual sites, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an even more sought-after destination for travelers around the world.
Read more at Arab News.