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Ministry of Culture’s Efforts in Preserving the Kingdom’s Heritage

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Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah visited three places last Wednesday in Makkah for inspection, King Faisal’s Palace, AlSaqqaf Palace and Al-Zaher Palace.

The visits came in the light of the minister’s program of visiting cultural sites across the Kingdom, with the aim of inspecting their infrastructure and how to maintain their preservation.

The minister spoke to the people in charge of each site to consider together the kind of support that these places need.

Last April, the minister signed a memorandum of understanding with the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Ahmad Al-Khatib, stating that all national historical places and the archaeology sector are to be transferred to the Culture Ministry.

Royal directives are issued stating the renovating of King Faisal’s Palace and turning the palace into a national museum.

As for the other two palaces, one thing for sure is that the Ministry is keen on preserving their heritage, for Al-Saqqaf Palace has always been important for Saudis since the arrival of King Abdul Aziz to Makkah. It has been the center for government, and hosted a number of prominent guests including Hajj missions and Arab ambassadors.

As for Al-Zaher Palace, it was built back in 1946 after King Abdul Aziz returned back from his visit to Egypt, and ever since it has been one of the official palaces of the Kingdom.

This is why in preserving these palaces, a part of the Kingdom’s heritage is being preserved as well. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi authorities are working hard on boosting the Kingdom’s culture, which aligns with the 2030 Vision.

“Today marks a turning point in the history of our nation,” said the Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. “It is rare that a nation undertakes such a massive revival of its culture.”

“The transformation of arts and culture will benefit all Saudis, young and old, from every corner of our country.  It will help build bridges of understanding.  And for our children, we will build a Saudi Arabia where their creative spirits can flourish.” On the ministry’s Twitter account, the minister said a priority was to support Saudi talent.

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Travel

RCU Partners With Aman Hotel to Transform Al-Ula into a Top Touristic Destination

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The Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU) announced earlier a partnership with Aman hotel and resort.

Culture Minister and RCU Gov. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al-Saud has signed the agreement on Monday with Vladislav Doroni, Aman Chairman and CEO.

This partnership includes the development of the first ever three Aman resorts in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Prince Badr said that Aman’s choice to develop its first Middle Eastern property in Al Ula “shows the promise and progress of the vision for AlUla to become a worldwide destination for those seeking unique experiences. I believe this partnership will be the next step in the development of the yet-to-be-discovered masterpiece that is AlUla.”

Doronin, CEO and chairman of Aman resorts expressed her excitement saying: “Many of our existing Aman destinations are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty and rich history. With the addition of spectacular AlUla, this takes us to 10 properties situated near or in UNESCO heritage sites, making it a fitting location for our first destination in the Middle East.”

The property will be a spa resort including 30 luxurious tents based in the beautiful mountain valley and close to several heritage and cultural areas of Al Ula.

This partnership comes in light of the RCU’s goals of transforming Al Ula into a top destination for tourists, and that is by welcoming potential investors and giving the opportunity to business owners to help transform the city.

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Saudi Citizens Will No Longer Need a Visa to Travel to South Africa

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The Kingdom’s foreign ministry announced that Saudi citizens will be able to travel to South Africa without the need of issuing a visa starting from August 15.

Just last month the South African Tourism (SA Tourism) got the news that seven countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will be added to the visa waiver list for travel to South Africa. 

This means that Saudi nationals will be able to visit the country for 90 days for business or tourism, as stated by the Kindom’s foreign ministry said.

 

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Taif: What Makes it The Kingdom’s City of Roses!

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Taif governorate has been crowned as the Kingdom’s city of roses and the best Saudi summer city, because of its incredible climate during the summer, its amazing natural landscapes and top touristic sites.

This makes Taif the Kingdom’s domestic tourism volume for its magnificent touristic attractions that include parks, museums, the most popular flea markets, and farms in addition to some cultural attractions such as Souk Okaz, which has been developed by the National Authority for Tourism and National Heritage through organizing the Souk Okaz Festival these past few years.

Visitors of Taif can also enjoy a stroll down some of the ancient Arabian Peninsula’s market. Another important site to visit is the Shubra Palace which includes one of the Kingdom’s most important museums, the Taif Regional Museum that was the presidency residence of King Abdul Aziz and King Faisal. 

Another great way to spend the day is to take a 2 hour drive from the Intercontinental in Taif and hike the top of the Al Wahbah Crater, the hike takes about 3.5 hours but the view of the landscape is certainly worth the adventure!

The weather, the sites, the heritage of the Taif are all factors that truly position the place as a top touristic attraction.

 

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