© 2020 All rights reserved to Maaal Newspaper
Publisher: Maaal International Media Company
Saudi Arabia transformed itself to become the number one tourist destination in the Middle East in 2022, bumping past the top tourist destination in the region. Saudi Arabia’s success in this sector is due (to a great extent) to the Ministry of Tourism making a concerted effort to attract more tourists across the country, and it will likely remain the number one tourist destination in the Middle East for many years to come. There are many reasons why Saudi Arabia is becoming a popular tourist destination for a greater variety of tourists, and with the efforts being made to create a more inviting atmosphere for people abroad, Saudi Arabia may one day find itself not only being at the forefront in the Middle East, but the potential is there for it to one day become the world’s number one tourist destination.
One thing that the Ministry of Tourism has going for it is that Saudi Arabia has a rich culture and past with many ancient locations to visit such as Mada’in Saleh, which, for example, was once the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, as well as an increasing number of museums and art galleries that showcase the country’s cultural heritage which to date has breached 200 galleries nation-wide and has been achievable due to cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture. Second, Saudi Arabia has a stunning natural beauty that when promoted diligently on an international level, often causes tourists to flock to these locations; like the beaches, a host of beautiful mountains, deserts, and coral-islands.
The Ministry of Tourism has been put under a microscope, retooled, energized, and has had ample financial injections by the Kingdom to accomplish the goals that have been set by the Vision 2030 Program, as tourism is one sector expected to grow heavy enough to assist in easing our country off the dependency on its oil and natural gas revenue. The Ministry is headquartered in Riyadh, with offices in several other cities in Saudi Arabia, as well as offices in London, New York, and Tokyo, and is currently being led by Minister of Tourism Ahmed bin Aqil al-Khateeb. Al-Khateeb is a former banker and businessman who was appointed Minister of Tourism in 2020, and to date, his strategic leadership and satisfactory results have been exemplary.
Effectively making the right decisions and providing leadership that works to make Saudi Arabia a major tourist destination by establishing a strategy to develop new tourism products and services, marketing Saudi Arabia to potential tourists, and regulating the tourism industry, while at the same time working to protect and preserve Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. The Ministry of Tourism is a member of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) which is an intergovernmental organization that promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth and development and is also a member of the Arab Tourism Organization (ATO), an intergovernmental organization that promotes tourism in the Arab world.
Prof. Alaa Alghamdi
Saudi Scholar & Writer *