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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 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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