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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

Saudi Arabia Is the Fastest Growing in Tourism Sector Globally

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Saudi Arabia Is the Fastest Growing in Tourism Sector Globally

A significant report has been conducted that showed the vital role that travel and tourism will contribute to the economy of the Middle East once the pandemic is defeated.

The publication by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which is the representative of the global Travel & Tourism private sector, conducted its annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) and it showed the huge part played by the Travel & Tourism sector last year in driving the economy of the region.

Throughout 2019, Travel & Tourism generated $245 billion towards GDP and 8.6% to the region’s economy.

The overall regional economy fell 0.6%, meanwhile the Travel & Tourism sector grew by 5.3% in 2019, which shows the continuous growth if the sector.

The detailed report showed that leisure travel makes up 83% of total visitor spend, with only 17% are business trips.

Saudi Arabia and UAE both made it to the list as an example of the fast growing countries in tourism, and Saudi Arabia had the fastest growing Travel & Tourism sector in 2019, with 14% growth to make up 9.5% of the total economy in the country.

Not only did this remarkable performance from Saudi Arabia and its growth provide 1.5 million job opportunities, it has also contributed  to the overall growth in Travel & Tourism globally.

“WTTC’s 2019 Economic Impact Report (EIR) shows how intrinsic Travel & Tourism was last year to the economy in the Middle East, supporting nearly seven million jobs or 8.8% of the total number of people employed.” Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said.

“Our report underscores how vital Travel & Tourism will be in powering the recovery of the region’s economy, generating new jobs and driving visitors back to the Middle East, having a positive economic domino effect on suppliers large and small throughout the industry.” She added.

We can’t wait till this is all over and tourism in stunning Saudi Arabia can go back to normal.

 

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Saudi Arabia Reveals Plans To Turn AlUla Into the World’s Largest Living Museum

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Saudi Arabia has revealed plans to turn AlUla into the world’s very largest living museum and a major heritage, cultural, arts and adventure tourism destination.

These development plans were part of AlUla framework plan that was revealed at the 10th UN World Urban Forum.

The plan is to be able to host two million visitors annually by 2035 with a project that will create more than 67,000 new jobs and help promote and protect the area.

AlUla is known for its incredibly stunning natural beauty and diversity in archaeology and has witnessed major cultural events that have attracted global artists and also hosted an incredible site-responsive outdoor art installation featuring the work of Saudi and international artists.

The balanced development strategy places people first as part of a broader commitment to become an open living museum for the world and a global center for culture, heritage, arts and eco-tourism projects,” the CEO of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), Amr Al-Madani, said.

“We chose the World Urban Forum as a credible global platform to engage with the world’s leading developers and sustainability experts and share our plans for the long-term, responsible development of AlUla as the world’s largest living museum. By combining heritage with nature, we are transforming the cultural landscape of AlUla and establishing the county as a global tourism destination with a thriving economy and local community.” He added.

 

 

 

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Travel Guide: 7 of the Kingdom’s Must-Visit Destinations

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There are so many reasons why Saudi Arabia should now be on everyone’s bucket list with so many stunning places to visit, a rich heritage to get to know and fun-packed adventures.

What follows is a small travel guide featuring some of the Kingdom’s hidden gems, for those interested in seeing what the Kingdom now has to offer!

AlUla

AlUla is truly one of the most fascinating locations in Saudi Arabia, with beautiful rock formations that hold ancient history! The UNESCO World heritage site is also currently witnessing one of the most iconic winter festival ‘Winter at Tantora‘ where a number of international start are performing at the giant mirrored concert hall.

To truly experience AlUla, click here.

The Edge of the world

You might already be familiar with the place, because just recently our Instagram feed was filled with influencers and bloggers standing on what looked like the edge of the world, yep that was Saudi Arabia’s very own end of the world site! Where the views are breathtaking and you will literally be standing by the edge to witness it all.

Fifa Mountains

The Fifa mountains, which rise more than 1,800 meters above sea level, are about 100 km from the southern Saudi city of Jazan and offers an idyllic tourist destination.

It looks like a modern city with very large buildings that actually touch the clouds! With its breathtaking greenery and serene weather, the mountains are a perfect spot for adventure and nature lovers.

Sky Bridge

Not for the faint-hearted or those who suffer of acrophobia, because the Sky bridge will fly you at 180km/h to the 99th-floor, inside the Kingdom Centre. But the views from there, the highest place in Riyadh, are truly breathtaking and totally worth it.

Tip: Avoid weekends and evenings after 6pm, when it can get very crowded.

Umluj

Umluj is practically Saudi Arabia’s very own small Maldives, it is a city in the Tabuk province that spreads 150 kilometers north of Yanbu and contains 104 islands. With clear turquoise water and white silk sands, the place makes the perfect destination for couples who are seeking serenity, quality time and privacy.

It is no wonder that the city’s beaches have earned the area the description of the “Saudi Arabian Maldives,” and that it’s part of the Red Sea tourism project that is underway.

Wadi Tayeb Al-Ism

Tayeb Al-Ism is one of the magical natural wonders of the Kingdom that really stuns visitors with its incredible natural feature of Tabuk Province. It is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, just 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna.

Learn more about the stunning nature of the destination, through this link.

Jeddah Corniche

The Jeddah Corniche has plenty of international hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, places for fishing, picnic areas, a science museum, and mosques. It also overlooks the famous King Fahad Fountain, which is also known as the Jeddah Fountain that has become an iconic symbol of Jeddah.

 

 

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