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‘Saudi Seasons 2019’ Initiative: Mapping the Way for Tourism

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Government officials have launched a new major initiative called ‘Saudi Seasons 2019’ that will map out 11 key tourism seasons in Saudi Arabia.

The program was announced by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and it targets the cultural, historical and sporting attractions in the Kingdom, that are most likely to draw a number of tourists.

In doing so, a road map for future tourism strategies will be provided, along with several new job opportunities.

The first 11 seasons will focus on the Eastern Province of the Kingdom and is expected to get underway in mid-March. As for other tourism initiatives, they will focus on the time during the holy month of Ramadan, the feasts, national day and cities of Jeddah and Taif, Riyadh, Al Ula, Hail and Ad Diriyah.

The idea of ‘Saudi Season 2019’ program was first discussed in mid-2018 and it was a collaboration between Saudi government departments under the supervision and leadership of a committee that was headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Those governmental departments included the Ministry of Culture, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Sports Authority, and the Saudi Exhibition and Convention Bureau, they all worked together to come up with such a program.

The first year of the project will include a number of programs that will promote for the Saudi regions and their heritage; therefore the focus will go to cities with unique cultural background and historical features.

Sporting events are to be highlighted as well, in addition to providing of high-quality services for transportation and accommodation.

 

 

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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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E-Visas Granted in Minutes For Visitors Of Jeddah Season Events

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Organizers of the Jeddah Season program have revealed that visitors buying online tickets for the events will be able to obtain an e-tourism visa at the very same time in only three minutes.

The announcement comes after the launch of more international shows and plays to come to the Kingdom for the first time in light of the city’s 40-day ‘Sea and Culture‘ festival of fun and entertainment.

The Jeddah Season is another attempt in boosting tourism in Saudi Arabia and promoting for its culture and heritage, that’s why visa obtaining is being facilitated.

Now, any visitor will be issued an e-visa within three minutes upon purchasing an event ticket.

These entertainment program aims at positioning the city as a top touristic destination as well as encouraging partnership with local businesses. Moreover, organizer hope that by doing more of these events, more than 20,000 job opportunities will be generated for young Saudis.

General supervisor of Jeddah Season, Raed Abuzinada, said the festival is part of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision in promoting for the tourism sector which is seen as a major contributor to the economy.

He further explained that the issuing of the e-visas are linked to the purchase of tickets for any Jeddah Season event, so that visitors are automatically granted a tourist visa once they purchase any festival tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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