Saudi Focus

AlUla ... major tourism developments launched.

AlUla ... major tourism developments launched.

$11.6bn tourism projects under way in kingdom

September 2019

Saudi Arabia has a number of tourism projects in the pipeline worth $11.6 billion as the kingdom seeks to draw more international and GCC tourists, says a report.

In February 2019, the kingdom unveiled major tourism initiatives, including a world-class resort and a nature reserve in the ancient city of AlUla in a bid to make it a global tourist destination.  In addition, work has been launched  on a number of projects in the city last month (see Leisure Facilities Page 61). To meet the Saudi Vision by 2030, the kingdom looks to invest up to $64 billion to develop cultural, leisure and entertainment projects, says a report released by Orient Planet Research, an Orient Planet Group venture.

The GCC countries have embarked on strategic plans to diversify their touristic offerings and have initiated huge investments during the last 10 years to improve, expand and modernise their infrastructure.

The Oman Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Tourism Strategy 2040’ intends to attract 11.7 million travellers by 2040, in which five million of them would be leisure and business visitors. The country is also exploring its potential in providing services in the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (Mice) sector. 

Bahrain, for its part, is expected to complete its new international exhibition centre in Sakhir by 2021, which will be 10 times bigger than its present one once finished. Kuwait as well is on track with its key tourism initiatives led by the ongoing development of five islands, which have an investment value of up to $160 billion.

The UAE receives more than 10 million visitors annually with Abu Dhabi and Dubai among the most attractive places to visit, while Sharjah is rapidly increasing its tourism appeal. Investments focused on travel and tourism are expected to reach up to $1 billion by 2027, the World Travel and Tourism Council has revealed.  

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