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Saudi Arabia to convert four historical sites into outdoor museums

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities announced plans to turn four historical sites into open museums

Published: Updated:

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) announced plans to turn four historical sites into open museums, Al-Hayat daily reported.

SCTA General Secretary Abdullatif Al-Bunyan said historical tourism in the Kingdom is growing.

“The Eastern Province has invested more than SR11 million in the tourism industry and has attracted 7 million tourists so far. The commission has discovered a number of historical sites in the province, the most recent one being an architectural heritage site north Al-Rakah District,” said Al-Bunyan.

He also said there is a historical area known as Hafariyat Dareen and it dates back 2,500 years into the pre-Islamic era.

“We also found ancient pottery made out of clay in Al-Dowsariyah south of Jubail. Saudi archeologists are collaborating with foreign archeologists to unearth pre-Islamic artifacts. A group of Saudi and German archeologists found a collection of pottery made out of clay and glass representing different pre-Islamic eras,” said Al-Bunyan.

He added there are many historical sites that have been turned into residential districts.

“The commission discovered a harbor called Thaj, which belonged to the Kingdom of Al-Jarhaa, a pre-Islamic kingdom in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia,” said Al-Bunyan.

He said the commission is opening several tourism centers in the Eastern Province and working on several developmental projects for the tourism industry.

“There will be tourism centers in Al-Ahsa, Hafr Al-Batin, Jubail and Jannah Island for tourists to explore the pre-Islamic world. Tourism centers will be surrounded with various facilities such as cafes and restaurants for the tourists’ enjoyment,” said Al-Bunyan.

He also said the Eastern Province is a strategic tourism location as it is a connecting point between Gulf countries.

“There has been a drastic growth in the hospitality and tourism industries in the Eastern Province. There are more than 114 hotels in the province and 13 of them are five-star. Moreover, 40 new five-star and four-star hotels will be built in the coming two years. There are also more than 750 furnished residential units,” said Al-Bunyan.

He said the Eastern Province has been investing in tourism for a number of years, which led to the success of the industry and the region’s popularity among other Gulf countries.

“The rate of tourism and travel agencies increased by 23.4 percent during the last few years. There are 44 travel guides in the Eastern Province certified by the commission. The commission implemented many tourism projects such as the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), King Abdullah Civic Center, Dammam Regional Museum, King Abdullah Dates City and many more,” said Al-Bunyan