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France to Host An Exhibition Showcasing The Wonders of Al-Ula

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France is set to host the first intentional exhibition entitled “AlUla: Kingdom’s Wonder” which is dedicated to showcasing the natural heritage and rich history of Al-Ula in Saudi Arabia.

The exhibition will be held at the headquarters of the Arab World Institute (IMA) in Paris starting from October 9th to the 9th of January.

According to Jack Land, IMA’s president and former French minister of culture, the expo aims at introducing the visitors to the beauty of Al-Ula and display its unique archaeological formation and the breathtaking natural destinations.

“In partnership with the Kingdom, the exhibition will allow visitors to discover the beauty of AlUla area and its natural diversity, as well as to learn about its history and civilizations witnessed over 7,000 years through artistic works, paintings and archaeological sculptures.” He added.

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Travel

Saudi Airlines Resume Flights to 20 Destinations in Asia, Europe and Middle East

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As life is slowly returning back to normal and countries are trying to safely cope with the pandemic, Saudi airlines has resumed its international flights to 20 destinations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

This step comes after a suspension that lasted for seven months and a disruption that the pandemic has caused. The airline is now ready to fly again to Amman, Dubai, Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Khartoum, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Paris, Washington, DC, Islamabad, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.

A partial resumption for international flights started since September 15th, following a six-month strict suspension.

According to the Interior Ministry, all restrictions on air, land and sea transport will end after the first of January 2021, a specific date is yet to be announced in December. The airline normally flies to more than 85 destinations worldwide.

The General Directorate of Passports (GDP) is calling on all Saudis and expats traveling from Saudi Arabia to comply with all safety regulations and health requirements.

The directorate said that those requirements and procedures are constantly updated and without prior notice.

To learn about the travel documents’ regulations and instructions, they can visit the GDP’s official website.

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Saudi Summer: Newest Campaign to Encourage Domestic Tourism

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The Saudi Tourism Authority has launched a new campaign called ‘Saudi Summer’ to boost domestic tourism and encourage Saudis to explore the wonders of the Kingdom.

This follows the lifting of lockdown restrictions that lasted months, because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign comes after the STA’s extensive research that showed that 57% of Saudis are still worried about traveling by plane, while 85% are still planning to spend a 10-day holiday, and 78% showed interest in exploring the country.

The summer campaign encourages residents to explore the different stunning locations of the Kingdom, and discover its historical, natural and cultural treasures.

“The campaign also contributes to enhancing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the STA.

The campaign just launched today and will run until September 30th, it will be promoting ten locations across the nation. including: Jeddah and KAEC; Abha; Tabuk; Khobar, Dammam and Ahsa; Al Baha; Al Taif; Yanbu, Umluj; and Riyadh.

“The tourism sector resumes its activities with a renewed spirit and great hopes for moving forward at an accelerated pace, to achieve our aspirations in harmony with Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to pursue economic diversification, attract investments, increase revenues and create job opportunities for citizens,” the minister added.

 

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The Kingdom to Launch a $4bn Tourism Development Fund

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In another attempt to diversify the economy of the Kingdom and attract more foreign tourists, Saudi Arabia has started a fund with an initial capital of $4 billion aiming at developing the tourism industry.

The Tourism Development Fund will launch a range of equity and debt investment vehicles and has $45bn in memorandum of understandings signed with private banks, according to a statement. “Funding will be deployed to support mixed-use destinations, to address gaps in the tourism value chain, and to enable technologically-enhanced tourism,” it said.

“The launch of the fund at this time, as the tourism sector faces unprecedented global challenges, is testament to investor and private-sector confidence in the long-term outlook for tourism in Saudi Arabia,” Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb said in the statement.

Just last year, the Kingdom opened its doors to welcome international travelers, by launching a new visa regime while appealing to foreign companies to invest in the sector, which it hopes will contribute more than 10% of gross domestic product by 2030, up from 3% currently.

The country expects the tourism industry to contribute more than 10% of its annual GDP and create more than one million jobs by 2030.

The launch is part of the first phase of the National Tourism Strategy, which focuses on developing and enhancing 38 sites across seven destinations by 2022.

There’s no doubt that analysts do predict a severe economic hit this year, caused by the pandemic but let’s keep our fingers crossed that this shall soon come to an end.

 

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