GCC ministers bat for unified tourism system in the region

SCTH Chairman Ahmed Al-Khateeb attends the fourth meeting of ministers responsible for tourism and culture in GCC countries in Muscat. (SPA)
Updated 11 October 2019

GCC ministers bat for unified tourism system in the region

  • Saudi tourism commission chief says Saudi Arabia aims to host 100 million tourists by 2030

MUSCAT: Saudi Arabia took part in the fourth meeting of ministers responsible for tourism and culture in the GCC countries in Muscat, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The meeting at the Omani capital discussed a number of issues that enrich tourism in the region. 

In his address, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), reviewed part of the Kingdom’s national tourism strategy, in addition to the recent announcement that Saudi Arabia would open its doors to tourists from around the world.

Al-Khateeb said that the Kingdom’s decision is part of the Vision 2030 reform plans on investing in tourism as a major source of income and employment.

“Saudi Arabia, with its unique tourist destinations, giant projects and a rich cultural heritage spanning thousands of years, presents itself to the world as a global tourist destination,” said the SCTH chief.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The participants recommended holding meetings to promote shared tourism work.
  • They also suggested a mechanism for establishing an exhibition for Gulf crafts and industries. 
  • The meeting recommended the adoption of a unified tourism guideline system in the region.
  • Ras Al-Khaimah was adopted as the capital of Gulf tourism for 2020.

He added that the Kingdom believes that the integrated promotion of tourism between the GCC countries will have a positive impact on their economies.

Al-Khateeb said that by 2030, the Kingdom will host about 100 million tourists. He added that the national income from tourism will reach 10 percent and the sector will be able to provide 1 million jobs for Saudis.

The participants recommended holding meetings to promote shared tourism work, thanking the Kingdom for its initiatives, including the “Living the Gulf” program, which was adopted as a joint action program.

They also suggested a mechanism for establishing an exhibition for Gulf crafts and industries. 

The meeting recommended the adoption of a unified tourism guideline system in the region.

Finally, Ras Al-Khaimah was adopted as the capital of Gulf tourism for 2020.


350,000 books to feature at Jeddah fair

Updated 14 November 2019

350,000 books to feature at Jeddah fair

JEDDAH: Hundreds of authors from around the world are preparing to take part in a prestigious Saudi book festival.

The Jeddah International Book Fair, to be staged in South Obhur from Dec. 11 to 21, will feature more than 350,000 volumes to cater to all reading tastes.

Now in its fifth edition, the cultural event, run under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, will see the participation of 400 Saudi, Arab and international publishing houses from 40 different countries.

Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed, who is head of the fair’s supreme committee, has been coordinating the organization of the event which will include book-signing sessions by 200 authors.

The exhibition, occupying 30,000 square meters, is one of the biggest specialized expos in the Kingdom, and aims to promote reading and the cultural environment.

The fair will also include a program of seminars, lectures and indoor and outdoor theater productions, along with documentary films for families and children, and workshops in visual arts, photography and Arabic calligraphy.

The Jeddah fair is supported by Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, who believes it reflects the city’s culture and traditions, along with backing from Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah. SPA Jeddah