Crown Prince announces launch of global tourism project in Kingdom

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Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier, minister of defense and chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), on Monday, announced the launch of an international tourism project in the Kingdom, called the Red Sea Project.
It will be built in one of the world's most beautiful and diverse natural spots, in cooperation with the world's largest hotel companies. The project will develop exceptional resorts on more than 50 natural islands between the cities of Umluj and Al-Wajh, just a few kilometers from one of the Kingdom's protected reserves and extinct volcanoes in Harrat Al-Rahat area.
The project will be a leading coastal destination, located on a number of virgin islands in the Red Sea. Besides the project, the ruins of Madain Saleh are characterized by their construction beauty and great historical significance.
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 extinct volcanoes located next to the project area, and diving enthusiasts to explore the abundant coral reefs in the surrounding waters.
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.
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.
The project will be a center for everything related to recreation, health and relaxation and an integrated model for a healthy and vital society.
In order to preserve the unique environmental character of the region, environmental sustainability laws and mechanisms will be developed and put in place. Natural resources will be conserved in accordance with the best practices and standards in place globally.
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.
The foundation will be laid in the third quarter of 2019 and the first phase will be completed in the last quarter of 2022, a time which will see the development of the airport, the port, the development of hotels and luxury residences, the completion of facilities and infrastructure, and transport services (boats, water jets, etc.).
The PIF will inject initial investments into this project and open partnerships with leading international companies, which will bring new and direct investments to the Kingdom while seeking to attract and redirect Saudi tourism expenses into the Kingdom.
The project will attract the world's leading names in the tourism and hospitality sectors to harness its expertise, competencies and financial investments to enrich the experiences of this destination, provide more value to its visitors and maximize the economic gains of the Kingdom.
Earlier, the Crown Prince chaired a session of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) Monday evening at Al-Salam Palace. The Council reviewed a number of economic and development issues, including the report by the Local Content and Private Sector Development Unit of the Council and on analyzing the opportunities and challenges facing the national economy.
The Council also reviewed the presentation submitted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the Job Creation and Unemployment Control Authority on the labor market in the Kingdom. —SPA

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