Saudi Tourism Commission, SAGIA ink deals worth $27 bln with private investors

The Elephant rock in the Ula desert near the northwestern Saudi town of al-Ula is among the Kingdom's key tourism destinations. (File photo: AFP)

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) have signed several memoranda of understandings (MoUs) and agreements with regional and international investors valued at around 100 billion riyals ($26.67 billion).

Among the deals signed was a MoU with Triple 5 worth 37.5 billion riyals. Triple 5 is planning to develop a series of mixed-use tourism, hospitality, and entertainment destinations across the Kingdom.

“The tourism investments will provide an accelerated boost to the industry, to ensure the tourism sector is able and ready to accommodate and facilitate the movement of targeted 100 million international and domestic tourists by 2030,” Imad Damrah, Managing Director of Colliers International KSA, told Al Arabiya English.

“All levels of the tourism ecosystem will be developed, leading to job creations at multiple levels; whether directly employed in the tourism field or indirectly as a related business,” said Damrah.

Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim was among the firms that signed a deal to set up a mixed-used shopping and entertainment destination to feature the region’s largest indoor ski slope and snow park.

The project, worth 20 billion riyals, will create some 12,000 jobs.

“In Saudi Arabia, the market fundamentals are in place for a vibrant tourism industry, and we believe that the private sector will play a crucial role in unlocking this potential,” said Ibrahim Al-Omar, Governor of SAGIA.

The Kingdom has been seeking to reform and grow its tourism sector as part of the overarching goal of economic diversification under the banner of Vision 2030. Saudi Arabia expects to increase international and domestic visits to 100 million a year by 2030, a significant jump from the current 20 million.

The aim is to increase the tourist contribution to 10 percent of GDP, up from three percent today.

Several organizations also announced investment commitments collectively valued at 36.25 billion riyals, including Alshaya, Radisson, Shomoul, Alrajhi Investment, and Seera Group.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:05 - GMT 11:05
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