Saudi Arabia has revealed plans to create a new tourism hotspot on its Red Sea coastline as it attempts to improve its offering to travellers.
The Kingdom plans to focus on an area nearly twice the size of Wales and could relax its strict laws, including bans on drinking alcohol.
Covering 34,000 square kilometres, the new hotspot will be located between the cities of Umluf and Alwajh and will be governed by independent laws and a regulatory framework.
Well-renowned for its strict enforcement of Islamic law, Saudi Arabia welcomes very few British visitors currently, but it is hoped this new development will change that.
Saudi officials hope that the new plans will be a step in the right direction for the country’s tourism offering, benefitting the Kingdom’s wider economy.
The Red Sea development – which includes hotels and residential units – is scheduled for late 2019, with the first phase expected to be completed by 2022.
As well as hotels, the development will also include logistical infrastructure for air, land and sea transport hubs, making access for travellers easier.
The development is expected to create around 35,000 jobs and could generate £3 billion for the Saudi Arabian economy.
Saudi Arabia is continuing to invest in hospitality, and is expected to open 68 new hotels this year, including the world’s largest – Abraj Kudai Towers – in the last quarter of 2017.
Renowned brands such as Nobu Hospitality and Rocco Forte Hotels will enter the Saudi Arabian market for the first-time following completion.
Around 18 million travellers visited the Kingdom in 2016, but a significant portion of that was for the religious pilgrimage of the Hajj, when people travel to the Mecca over the course of a week.
If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your long-haul travel insurance in advance
Date Created: 03/08/2017