KSA plans to be world’s most progressive golf destination

Saudi Arabia hopes to become the leading nation for golf. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 05 February 2020

KSA plans to be world’s most progressive golf destination

  • The Kingdom plans to become the most innovative market in the sport within the next 10 years
  • The Kingdom is aiming to have up to 27,000 registered golfers

JEDDAH: With the conclusion of the European Tour event and the inauguration of the Saudi Golf Summit at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia is taking one of the most significant development moves in golf’s recent history.

The Kingdom plans to become the most innovative market in the sport within the next 10 years, said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi.

“Golf isn’t just a game,” Al-Sorour told Arab News, “it is related to various sectors and it creates well-paid jobs that attract Saudis.” 

He added that golf requires commitment, dedication, self-governance, etiquette and discipline and that due to these values, he wants golf “to become part of the fabric of modern Saudi Arabia.”

The Kingdom is aiming to have up to 27,000 registered golfers and to ensure that over one million Saudi nationals have actively tried golf.

Golf Saudi wants to inspire and provide opportunities to every player regardless of ability, status or gender. 

To help develop national talents, the organization is working on establishing golfing camps for children with a minimum of one camp per week at each golf course, with each camp consisting of roughly 30 children. 

In order to achieve its plan, Golf Saudi is working in collaboration with the public and private sector, “Partnership government ministries is fundamental for progress, we are working with the ministries of transportation, education, environment and communication,” Al-Sorour said.




Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi said the Kingdom plans to become the most innovative market in the sport within the next 10 years. (AN Photo/Huda Bashata)

He continued: “We are working with giga projects and independent developers, so the nation’s golf portfolio will be stronger than ever.”

Golf Saudi has developed a tourism framework to align this strategy with tourism stakeholders in the country. Golf course development plans are reaching their latter stages at the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh and the Red Sea Project.

Moreover, other giga and mega projects in the Kingdom will also include golf facilities at Diriyah Gate and Neom.

Al-Sorour said that the national golf team is gradually improving, and he anticipated that it will be able to compete on a global level within five years: “Golfers need time for training to develop properly.”

Golf Saudi is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to include golf in the basic and higher education system.

“We cannot spread the game’s culture without cooperating with the education ministry,” said Al-Sorour.

“We are having constant meetings and trying to create a partnership to integrate golf in the school curriculum.

The European Tour event took concluded this year at KAEC’s award-winning Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. It has won a number of international awards recognizing the golf, clubhouse and luxurious facilities.

Anas Najmi, head of the quality of life sector in KAEC, told Arab News that the top factor of spreading any game is having the infrastructure and the right facilities.

“Everyone knows about golf as a widely spread game on a global level, we have tried over the past period to ensure that we have enough world-class infrastructure with the highest standards so we can host activities, tournaments and championships,” Najmi said.

KAEC, with its award-winning facilities and first-of-its-kind golf academy in the region, has been attracting more locals interested in playing golf.

“We see a trend of lots of students wanting to know more about golf and willing to learn and practice, it is a game for many ages,” Najmi told Arab News, adding: “We have a huge interest in helping visitors and golf enthusiasts.”

Naomi continued: “We are strategically positioned in the heart of a population of 10 million, the recently inaugurated train station connects the city to Jeddah, Madinah and Makkah within an hour.

“We get lots of delegations from universities and schools, both public and international.”


13 women appointed to Saudi Human Rights Commission

Updated 03 July 2020

13 women appointed to Saudi Human Rights Commission

  • The move is in line with efforts made by the Kingdom’s leadership to enable women to occupy leading positions in various fields

RIYADH: Thirteen women have been appointed to the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) under a royal decree issued by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
The appointments mean half the positions on the commission’s council will be occupied by women — a major step in furthering women’s empowerment in the country.
“Appointing 13 women as members of the HRC council, with a total of 26 members, is in line with efforts made by the Kingdom’s leadership to enable women to occupy leading positions in various fields, and helps achieve what is best for the country,” said Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, head of the HRC.
He thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for issuing the royal decree to form the commission’s council in its fourth session for a period of 4 years.
Al-Awwad said that the Saudi leadership’s support and guidance had a great impact on the HRC mission to promote and consolidate human rights principles for the benefit of Saudis and expats.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT), in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has completed a comprehensive four-part training program for 350 participants from all 13 of the Kingdom’s regions involved in collecting and managing data on crimes involving people trafficking.
The program is the latest in a comprehensive series of training initiatives that followed the establishment in March of the Kingdom’s first National Referral Mechanism, a framework to identify and support potential victims of people trafficking.
Almost a dozen Saudi ministries and authorities, as well as other government and non-government bodies, are involved in the initiative.
Sarah Al-Tamimi, NCCHT’s vice-chair, said: “The completion of this phase of training is part of a holistic agenda that tackles people trafficking from a diversity of angles. We are committed to combating this abominable crime and protecting everyone, without exception, in the Kingdom.”
He added: “This is a crime that knows no borders and requires all of us to work together toward its eradication.”
Judge Hatem Fouad, UNODC representative for the Gulf region, said: “Our partnership with the Kingdom reflects the reality of the complex, international and multifaceted fight against trafficking in persons.
“I thank the committee members and vice-chair Sarah Al-Tamimi for their fruitful cooperation, and I thank the participants of the training sessions for continuing to improve the Kingdom’s anti-trafficking response,” he said.