Riyadh announces massive Red Sea tourism project

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced that it is planning to build a tourist destination along the Red Sea, which will apparently accommodate a diverse audience as the country’s strict conservative customs will most likely be waived on the 50 islands. The islands are located between the coastal cities of Umluj and Al Wajh.
Mohammad bin Salman Photo Credit: EPA

Saudi Arabia announced Monday that it is planning to build a “semi-autonomous” tourist destination along the Red Sea consisting of 50 islands. It appears that the site will cater to non-Muslims as the country’s strict dress code for women, gender segregation policies and other orthodox customs may not apply.

The islands are located between the Saudi coastal cities of Umluj and Al Wajh. The massive tourism plan includes various attractions such as diving activities, a nature reserve and high-end hotels. Bloomberg reported that tourists who wish to visit the islands will either not need to obtain visas to Saudi Arabia or will be able to get one online relativity quickly.

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The plan is part of the kingdom’s initiative to reduce its dependence on oil revenues, which is being spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. One of the major aspects of Vision 2030 is developing the kingdom’s tourism industry- both Muslim and non-Muslim attractions.

The project has the potential to bring about $4 billion a year to the country’s economy and create tens of thousands of jobs for Saudis. The Saudi Press Agency statement announced that the construction on the tourist destination will begin in the second half of 2019. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.



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