Thursday, February 25, 2021

Saudi Arabia aims to become tourist hot spot

There is no word on whether the kingdom's strict ban on alcohol will be modified.

Other News

Burger King berwajah baru dalam fasa pandemik

Burger King umum rancangan mengembangkan pasarannya sebanyak 20% menjelang akhir tahun termasuk pelancaran identiti visual baru.

Health ministry explains different needle colours for Covid jabs

Different colours signify different bore size in needles, health ministry says.

China lambasts UK for ‘double standards’ over human rights for immigrants

Beijing has stepped up the rhetoric against London since Britain offered millions of Hong Kong citizens in its ex-colony the chance to obtain full British citizenship.

Bikinis now fine for beach volleyball tourney in Doha after Qatar reconsiders

Doha at first asked female players to wear long shirts and trousers instead of bikinis for the event.

Washington in bid to rejoin UNHRC to go after rights violators

The Biden administration named Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Congo and Iran as human rights abusers, but its list does not stop there.

Saudi Arabia has announced its target of attracting 100 million tourists a year by 2030.

To put the number into perspective, the most visited country, France, saw 89 million tourists in 2018.

The ambitious target will be spurred on by the country’s flagship Red Sea Project, a development of luxury resorts and tourist attractions costing US$500 billion on the Red Sea coastline. Ninety artificial islands are expected to be built over the next few years.

The kingdom has also stepped up its marketing of around a hundred historical sites across the country.

“There will be a lot of pent up demand to go and travel as soon as the restrictions are lifted,” the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

Before 2019, Saudi Arabia did not issue tourist visas to foreigners. It was impossible to enter the kingdom unless you were there on a work visa, and even they were not easy to obtain.

Muslims have always been allowed to enter on haj and umrah pilgrimages, but only with a pilgrimage visa and numbers are strictly limited to a quota per country to avoid too many pilgrims arriving and causing chaos at the holy sites.

Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the cities of Mecca and Medina, and that is expected to continue.

In an attempt to move away from its economic dependence on oil, the country will relax its strict dress code, making it a more attractive destination to millions worldwide.

There is no word on whether the kingdom’s strict ban on alcohol will be modified. Tourism experts say without that it is unlikely that tourism would take off in a big way. The modernising royals may wish to relax the ban but the powerful religious authorities would not back such a move.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

US Khashoggi murder spy report expected to accuse Saudi crown prince

A bug planted in the embassy recorded Khashoggi’s death in grisly detail and has been heard by US, UK and other allied security services.

Saudi women’s driving rights activist released from prison after 1,001 days

Saudi officials say they aren't bowing to outside pressure but it's clear they want this issue off the agenda now that there's a new team in the White House.

Saudi Arabia to reform legal system en route to post-oil future

Preparing to sell itself as a destination for international business headquarters may have spin-off benefits for women's rights.

Young Saudi Shiites have death penalties converted to 10 years in jail

Time served will apply in all three cases, and they will be released in 2022.

Saudi Arabia, Gulf neighbours launch new restrictions as virus surges after New Year fun

Despite having some of the highest per capita vaccination rates in the world, health professionals are warning that the surge may be an early indicator of a second wave.