Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Saudi Arabia plans massive Red Sea tourism project

Saudi Arabia will build a massive international tourism project covering more than 50 virgin islands in the Red Sea between the cities of Amlaj and Al-Jawh.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is also the chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), launched the Red Sea Project, which will be built in one of the world's most beautiful and diverse natural spots, in cooperation with the world's largest hotel companies to develop exceptional resorts, a Saudi Press Agency report said.

The foundation for the new project will be laid in the third quarter of 2019 and the first phase will be completed in the last quarter of 2022, a time by which the infrastructure, an airport, hotels and luxury residences, and transport services will be in place.

The PIF will inject the initial investments needed into the project and open partnerships with leading international companies, which will bring new and direct investments to the kingdom.

The project will attract the world's leading names in the tourism and hospitality sectors and harness their expertise, competencies and financial investments to enrich the tourism experiences.

The location is a few kilometers from one of the kingdom's protected reserves and inactive volcanoes in Harat Alrahat area.

A few minutes from the main beach, visitors will be able to discover hidden treasures in the Red Sea area, including a nature reserve to explore the diversity of flora and fauna in the area. Adventure enthusiasts will be able to navigate between the inactive volcanoes located next to the project area, and dive enthusiasts can explore the abundant coral reefs in the surrounding waters, said the report.

As tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Vision 2030, the Red Sea project will contribute to a qualitative shift in the concept of tourism and hospitality, it said.

Heritage sites will also be restored on a scientific basis to be ready for visitors. For example, a higher ceiling will be set for visitors to the region, in line with global best practices in tourism and archeology.

The new project aims to promote international tourism by opening the Red Sea gate to the world in order to identify its treasures and embark on new adventures that will attract tourists locally, regionally and internationally, it said.

The project will be a centre for recreation, health and relaxation and an integrated model for healthy and vital society.

In order to preserve the unique environmental character of the region, environmental sustainability laws and mechanisms will be developed, it added.

The Red Sea project will be developed as a private area where systems will be applied in accordance with international best practices and expertise to enable the achievement of the project objectives.

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