Red Sea projects to attract SR150 billion


The Red Sea projects will be established in Ras Humaid, Sharma, Qayyal, Dhaffat Al-Wajh in the Tabuk region, Arrayes in Yanbu, Ras Muhaisen in the Makkah region, Haridha in the Asir region and Fursan in Jizan. The new resorts will have a total of 557,000 rooms and create 413,000 jobs, including 165,000 direct jobs in the first five years.

The SCT plans to establish a number of tourist resorts along the Red Sea coastline as part of its efforts to promote domestic tourism and win over local and foreign tourists. Prince Sultan ibn Salman, secretary-general of SCT, has signed a SR2.08 million contract with an international consultancy company to prepare a plan for tourism development projects which would include hotels, recreation centers and housing units.

Prince Sultan said the agreement aims to make a long-term plan for tourism development on the Red Sea coast and islands — which has a total length of 1,800 km and depth of 25 km to 50 km. He also spoke about a government strategy to increase the tourism industry’s share in the country’s gross domestic product from six to 16 percent by 2020.

The Kingdom’s tourism sector, including Haj and Umrah services, currently contributes six percent to the Kingdom’s GDP or SR55 billion ($ 14.6 billion). Sultan said the total capacity of hotels in the Kingdom increased to 104,000 rooms in 2005, adding that hotels and furnished apartments generate SR11.2 billion annually. “We expect the revenue of the hospitality sector to reach SR14.29 billion by 2010 and SR21.78 billion by 2020. We also expect the sector to make an annual growth of four percent, in terms of increasing hotel rooms,” he said.

According to a tourism strategy prepared by the commission, Red Sea resorts will attract about 19 percent of total domestic tourists and 25 percent of foreign tourists by the year 2020. Dr. Faisal Al-Mubarak, adviser to Prince Sultan said the new project would play a significant role in the diversification drive.

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