Tourism landed in Saudi Arabia

Tourism landed in Saudi Arabia

Editorial Staff
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A megaproject could turn 180 miles of Red Sea pristine coastline into a luxury paradise for international tourists. Works should start in 2019 and end in 2022. Revision is required in visa procedures for access to the country

Saudi Arabia presses on the accelerator of economic diversification to free the Kingdom revenues from the dependence on oil. As foreseen by Vision 2030, a strategy promoted by the new hereditary prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh is planning to launch a large infrastructure project to transform 180 km of Red Sea coastline, between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh, into a paradise for those looking for uncontaminated territories, crystal clear waters and extravagant services. In the first phase the project, which will involve the territory of 50 islands, for a total of 34,000 kilometers, will be developed by the sovereign kingdom and then be opened to international investors. Work on the construction of accommodation and logistics facilities, including an airport, should start in the third quarter of 2019 to end in late 2022. The Saudi authorities have stated that for obtaining visas to access to this new tourist region tourists will not have to undergo strict rules, currently in force. In Saudi Arabia, in fact, the only permitted visas are those that allow a religious tourism to Mecca. For the rest, getting to or from Riad, Gedda or any other location requires an invitation or sponsorship from someone on the spot. Many international observers and reporters also point out that some prescriptions, such as the ban on taking alcohol or going to the cinema, are likely to be reviewed, at least for the potential thousands of tourists arriving in the country.