The Red Sea project will boast dormant volcanoes as a global touristic site

Time: August 3, 2017

Aerial shot of volcanoes in Saudi Arabia (Supplied)

Harraat Al Shaqaa, also known as Luneer, is located east of Amlaj, Saudi Arabia. This lava field covers an area of about 2,000 sq. km and extends to the nearby Red Sea.

Located in Saudi Arabia are 12 other volcanic fields, but the latest occurrence of volcanic activity happened at Harrat Al Shaqaa. The landscape there includes a variety of rock types and geological formations, attracting geologists and nature lovers.

Volcanic feild in Saudi Arabia (supplied)

(supplied)

Thousands of photos captured the scenery of volcanic fields, and plenty of information was collected on the 2,000 volcanic vents and clusters spread across the fields. However, the volcanic sites are still not ready for visitors in Saudi Arabia as the lava shaped the terrain in a way making it difficult for cars to cross.

Cinder cone volcano in Saudi Arabia (supplied)

The Red Sea project is the first to utilize these fields and volcanoes in Saudi Arabia. It is a unique project which will turn the sites into an international destination.

 

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Saudi Crown Prince announces launch of global tourism ‘Red Sea Project’

Time: August 1, 2017

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, said the Red Sea Project will be built in one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse natural spots. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced the launch of an international tourism venture in Saudi Arabia under the working title of the “Red Sea Project”.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), said the Red Sea Project will be built in one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse natural spots, in cooperation with the world’s largest hotel companies to develop exceptional resorts on more than 50 natural islands between the cities of Amlaj and Al-Jawh, just a few kilometers from one of the Kingdom’s protected reserves and inactive volcanoes in Harat Alrahat area.

The project is set to turn the areas into a leading coastal destination, located on a number of pristine islands near the Red Sea. The project will be located close to the Mada’in Saleh, an archaeological site characterized by its urban beauty and great historical significance.

مشروع البحر الأحمر

@TheRedSeaSA

50 جزيرة في تجعل السعودية وجهة سياحية عالمية.

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 inactive volcanoes located next to the project area, and dive enthusiasts explore the abundant coral reefs in the surrounding waters.

As tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the Red Sea project will contribute to a qualitative shift in the concept of tourism and hospitality.

Cultivating heritage sites

Under the project, 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 healthy and vital society,” a statement on Saudi Press Agency read.

“In order to preserve the unique environmental character of the region, environmental sustainability laws and mechanisms will be developed. Natural resources will be conserved in accordance with the best practices and standards in place globally,” the statement added.

he 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.

This article was first published in Al Arabiya English  

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Saudi Arabia Plans a Huge Red Sea Beach Tourism Project

Aug 1, 2017

Saudi Arabia wants to turn hundreds of kilometers of its Red Sea coastline into a global tourism destination governed by laws “on par with international standards” as part of its plan to transform the economy and reduce its reliance on oil.

The project will cover 50 islands and 34,000 square kilometers — an area bigger than Belgium — between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh to attract “luxury travelers from around the globe,” according to an official statement sent to Bloomberg on Tuesday. It will be developed by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, with the first work expected in two years.

Bringing sun-seekers to Saudi beaches could transform a tourism industry that relies almost solely on Muslim pilgrims visiting holy shrines in Mecca and Medina. But while the announcement emphasized the economic benefits, past mega-projects to diversify the economy have struggled to get off the ground, and questions are likely to be raised over how acceptable the plan is to the kingdom’s influential religious establishment.

“If you can’t change restrictions on alcohol and dress, that market disappears,” said Crispin Hawes, London-based managing director at Teneo Intelligence, referring to foreign tourists.

This article was first published in   Bloomberg

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Saudi crown prince launches mega Red Sea tourism project

Time: August 01, 2017

 

JEDDAH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), on Tuesday announced the launch of an international tourism project in the Kingdom called The Red Sea.
Envisioned as a resort built across a lagoon of 50 untouched islands, The Red Sea will be situated in one of the world’s last natural hidden treasures, between the cities of Umlaj and Al-Wajh. It will be developed in partnership with the world’s leading hospitality firms.
Situated just a few kilometers from one of the most diverse Saudi nature reserves and captivating dormant volcanoes in Harrat Al-Rahat, the resort promises to be a blissful coastal island retreat set against a backdrop of the ancient ruins at Mada’in Saleh, renowned for its beauty and historical significance.
Visitors will be able to explore hidden treasures, including a nature reserve that boasts a stunning diversity of flora and fauna at the foothills of the dormant volcano nearby.
An array of marine-oriented resort developments will allow for unparalleled scuba diving among stunning coral reefs. The project will form an archipelago that is home to environmentally protected coral reefs, mangroves and several endangered marine species, including the hawksbill sea turtle.
It will also boast dormant volcanoes, the most recently active of which has a recorded history of activity dating back to the 17th century AD.
The project’s nature reserve is inhabited by rare wildlife including leopards, wolves, wildcats and falcons. Also on offer will be parachuting, trekking and rock climbing.
With tourism representing the second most important sector in the Kingdom, The Red Sea will spearhead the diversification of the Saudi leisure industry.

In line with Vision 2030, it will diversify Saudi tourism offerings to create a year-round hospitality sector while promoting cultural conservation and economic stimulation.
The Red Sea will serve as a wellness center while setting new standards for sustainable development and environmental protection, which will be central to the project’s development.
To ensure the highest standard of environmental conservation, the number of visitors annually will be capped and heritage sites will be restored.
Laws on par with international standards will govern the newly mapped semi-autonomous area, with initial groundbreaking expected in the third quarter of 2019.
Completion of the project’s first phase is anticipated by the last quarter of 2022, which will include development of hotels, luxury residential units and all logistical infrastructure such as air, land and sea transport hubs.
The project will be developed with seed capital from the PIF, while partnerships with top-tier international companies will be formed.
This will attract the world’s leading names in hotel and tourism operations while contributing to Saudi economic growth. The project aims to generate SR15 billion ($4 billion) annually to the Saudi economy and create 35,000 jobs.

This article was first published in Arab News

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