Saudi Arabia: open for tourists | The Economist

Saudi Arabia: open for tourists | The Economist

Saudi Arabians call this place the edge of the world. This spectacular landscape can be found on the outskirts of Riyadh, the capital city. People like to come here
because it’s a very quiet area. Very fresh and clean air
far away from the city. Every time when I come here
I have the same feeling. The feeling of the god. By 2030, the edge of the world will be home to an
entertainment complex two and a half times the size of Disney World. In the past, Saudi
Arabia was not a holiday destination for international
leisure tourists. The country is governed
by strict Islamic laws. Women must cover up in
public, gender segregation is common, and alcohol is forbidden. This can be at odds with
what Western tourists look for when booking a holiday. But under the leadership
of Mohammad Bin Salman, the young crown prince,
the country is changing. Tourism is at the heart of his plans to revolutionize the kingdom. He is plowing billions of dollars from the country’s sovereign
wealth fund into building a new tourist resort in the Red Sea. The project will cover 50 islands and 34,000 square kilometers. An area bigger than Belgium. There are separate plans
for a futuristic eco city and special economic zones
stretching into Jordan and Egypt. The prince’s ambitious plan
aims to attract 30 million visitors by 2030, double
the current number. Raafat Shisha hopes more tourists will discover what the country has to offer. At his resort, guests can
enjoy dinner and admire the form and grace of these
purebred Arabian horses. This is pure Arabian horse. This horse is purely from Saudi
Arabia and from this area. Raafat’s usual guests are visiting dignitaries, business people
and wealthy Saudi families. But soon he could be welcoming
foreign leisure tourists too. Because the growth of the
tourism business, I’m targeting all nationalities, all the
people, and all the family. The crown prince wants
to diversify the economy which is heavily dependent on oil. Hydrocarbons account for over 80% of the kingdom’s government revenues. One way to diversify is
to entice more tourists. The vast majority of visitors at present are religious pilgrims to Mecca. 15 million people visit
the holy city each year. The annual hajj is the biggest gathering of Muslims in the world. If some of them can be
tempted to extend their stay and visit other sites,
that would boost tourism. Saudis going on holiday abroad spend around $25 billion annually. The prince wants them to spend
more of that money at home. Such ideas are inspired
by neighboring Dubai. It is now the third
biggest tourism city in the world attracting a global clientele and contributing 20% to the country’s GDP. They have relaxed many social rules and permit alcohol in resorts. You cannot compare
Dubai with Saudi Arabia. Dubai is a city with and 10 shopping malls, and 100 hotels. That’s it. In Saudi Arabia, we have the heritage. Saudi Arabia is the heart
of Arab and Islamic world. It is the hub connecting three continents. Visiting Saudi Arabia
is a unique experience. Many Western tourists may be put off by such restrictions. It is unclear how far
Mohammad Bin Salman will be willing to relax social norms
to attract Western tourists. Dress code is part of
the social environment here in Saudi Arabia. In terms of men and
females so Saudi Arabia try to emphasize tourists and communicate with them what’s proper for
them to wear when they come and visit Saudi Arabia. The crown prince has a vision. But investing billions of
dollars in luxury resorts is a gamble that might not pay off. Saudi Arabia will have to find a balance in appealing to religious
tourists, Saudis, and those from farther afield. Saudi Arabia is largely
untouched by tourism and is a mystery for many travelers. That alone is a reason to visit.

100 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia: open for tourists | The Economist

  1. Difficult to imagine someone like Mohammad Bin Salman will become the next guardian of holiest Muslim sites of Makkah and Madinah. MBS à murderer, a bloodthirsty Tyrant killer, MBS doesn’t seem to be a true Muslim…

  2. Oh shit hole saudi arabia is open for tourism huh? & so? Who in their right mind wants to go to that sharia shit hole? No one wants to go to sharia countries.

  3. Under MBS the country is changing. Yeah right, like "body mutilation murder of journalists" changing.

  4. I love all Saudi people.

    I love all American people.

    I love king Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

    I love Saudi Prince sultan bin Abdul Aziz family.

    I love Saudi Prince Matiab bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.

    I love Saudi Prince waleed bin talal.

    I love Saudi new crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz.

    I don't like Pakistan people.

    02 03 04 06 10 14 17 19 23 12 Thief.

  5. I've been to Dubai UAE on a holiday with some friends beautiful place indeed! Would love to go back. But yea not ever visiting Saudi Arabia thanks

  6. The Biggest Sign of End Time is saudi
    Most poluted country by western
    Wait until God take your oil
    May Allah (swt) help us all

  7. Looks truly a beautiful country to visit! But …. I wonder…. is their human rights record improving? This would be the biggest step forwards they could ever make!

  8. I’ve been to Saudi as a tourist in really beautiful areas but the hotels were bad and some nice places not well-maintained. I would love to go again to discover the south as well as the red sea coasts.

  9. Ya rabb keep the blessed Hejaz in your Rahmah… As for Najd they are mushrikeen who have made a dirty pact with the shayateen…

  10. napkin wraps and rug pearls in hotel..,,rug holding rug door man hand….marocan woman leaves the hotel next call chandeliers but before it happened was woman that left the lobby ..dressed so nice..what a jewelry..what a beauty..wait..I think I lost my mind over my chandelier.. no..she did that to me..all my lamps

  11. We love this country for its the country of our beloved prophet. I would not want the west to corrupt it. Alcohol is haram so how can we accept this. The prince will pay for his sins. Allah is watching king.

  12. I don't think by creating resorts and attractions, regardless of how gauche and 'luxurious' they are, are going to target families and all nationalities for a vacation. I think stoning and segregation, homosexuality being punishable by death, beheading (although not as common as the media perpetuate) are why it isn't a gable that would pay off. Dubai boomed fast and somewhat plateaued.

  13. why u supporting him like tht?? do u think he will allow everythink like western wrld?? in here…dnt give bad eyes on our holy land fr god shake…give mercy on us at least here…atleast leave this place fr us…we have nthing to lose…u take all of world .. atleast leave this place plz…bro n sis … u do this in western wrld.. now u trying to do this in our holy land.??. btw did u heard about noah n lut story ?? why god did?? why god let it happen tht?? u forced it do this….bro n sis fear god…fr me, god has also limits of patience….dnt break this ..u will regret….coz god is merciful at the same tym he is justice to beleiver…..if ur intesion to destroy or distorted religion and u will get chance to impose ur secularism,humanity,lgbt parade,shorts &bikini,alcohol& pig consumption,bad music&dance rather than islam …then be careful…im also beleive in freedom bt everything has limits… it is saudi where mecca n medina exist & our prophet was born…so whole arabia is holy fr us..even though dubai allow bikini in open.. so sad?? i said this bcoz i fear….i see in future u will attack mecca median like past…n impose immorality on our holy land….ppl will want westernization rather than islam, influence by west…. though our scripture says bfr last hour arabs means beduiens will do immodest cloth..thy will spread immorality like dubai…..n then sun rises frm the west….tyms will stop…taking repentence will stop… dnt say its just a story plzzz…atleast respect adam n eve… ? u will nt undrstand…may allah bless everyone n give knwldge to everyone to undstnd r8 n wrng…

  14. Man if I've money to go abroad I'll go to UK or Russia or Japan….why Saudi Arabia?

    It's not like they've a theme park of Arabian nights or glamorous like UAE… and climate is dry and hot and not much historical places aside Mecca and Medina which aren't for all tourists…

  15. จะเปิดประเทศรับนักท่องเที่ยว ต้องออกกม.ให้รัดกุมเข้มงวด ไม่จำเป็นต้องเปิดอิสระทุกด้าน และจำกัดพื้นที่ นทท.ที่มาเขาต้องการชมเอกลักษณ์ของแต่ละปท.ไม่จำเป็นต้องทำในสิ่งที่ปท.เขามีอยู่แล้ว ??

  16. My nation. Great as it always has been through history.
    We shall remain vehemently steadfast in the face of any adversity that may arise today or in the future.

  17. I've been to KSA, it's a dump. If you're hell bent on being oppressed, marginalized and limited in what you can do or and you if you like being treated like dog shit, by all means go. If you have any self respect, you won't go. This country doesn't need tourists it needs a nuke, right in Riyadh. ???

  18. Saudi Arabia has a great historical place need to be explored. The ancient history of Saleh AlMadien , khaiber castle ? and lots lots of other places.

  19. I hope this criminal guy who butchers his people on his embassy in a foreign land does not corrupt the the holiest place on earth, he is capable an evil act

  20. I'm sure Chinese female tourist doesn't want to go to a place where they should cover all of her face and body like a ninja.
    So good luck with the tourism commercial

  21. Well, millions of Filipinos are working in Saudi Arabia for decades and mostly they are the only ones who enjoy the beautiful scenery of this great kingdom. It will be great if all people of the world can see what beauty Saudi can offer.

  22. ummm….. I don't think so. lol If I go anywhere, it won't be a place with a monarchy, Sharia or dictatorship.

  23. What`s this nonsense? It`s not possible for foreigners to migrate to saudi arabia & `become real saudis` the way it`s possible for migrants to come to the USA & become `real americans`. No way saudi arabia have strong `no immigration` policies.

  24. Woe betide a theme park at the ‘edge of the world’. It would destroy its sublime value. Build it somewhere else, the desert is massive, there is plenty o& space.

  25. How can one be a tourist if you have to cover up your wife, not to be an equal? Change this and we will come to visit.

  26. I do not like how the new princess treating our new nation he should be making our nation the same way Mohamed left it making it a same way as the religion wants it to be

  27. I would love to visit one day.I have looked into a visit but seem you have to jump threw a lot of hoops to get in,i have no problem dressing decent and no drinking is not a problem either…..Maybe one day.

  28. Partyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ? ? jajajajajaja jajajajajajajajajaja ? ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ?? ?? ? jajajajajaja ????? worldwide ? worldwide ? ?? ? ? ? jajajajajaja ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ? jajajajajaja ?? ? jajajajajaja jajajajajajajajajaja.

  29. YHWH will free his people from the mecca and all the mosques they are the Great Prostitute ( Revelation chapters :16-18 ) they do not obey all the commandments , the Mecca and all the mosques will be destroy from the earth and also the Quran will be destroy from the earth , be happy ???????? jajajajajaja ?? ?? ? jajajajajaja jajajajaja ? ?? ? jajajajajaja jajajajaja ? ? jajajajajaja jajajajajajajajajaja ? ?? ? jajajajajaja jajajajajajajajajaja jajajajajaja jajajajaja jajajajajaja ? ?? ?? ?? ?? ? jajajajajaja jajajajajajajajajaja ? ?? ? jajajajajaja jajajajajajajajajaja ? ?? ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja ? jajajajajaja.

  30. Saudi Arabia is one the most hypocritical country in the world. If you travel to Saudi Arabia, you support the killings and silence of journalists, human rights abuses, homosexuals execution, oppression, corruption, religious hypocrisy and many more vile things only god knows what's there.

  31. Not a single tree in sight. Also, this country is terrible for how it treats women. Never in my life would I ever visit such a dictatorship country

  32. He said he is “targeting” all the nationalities, all the people & all the families. Just keep that in mind while enjoying that stay.

  33. Just to clarify to the economist.Covering your faces and your head with veils and hijabs is strictly not Necessary,it is entirely up to the person.Stop making it seem as if it is a demand.It is up to people who choose to follow and believe into the religion.God,Don’t mock religions for what they choose to believe in and individuals,let them be.

  34. Saudi Arabia is still too strict. It can be a beautiful place but it needs to legalize more and allow more lifestyles before it can ever be a tourism hotspot.

    People like to have fun. If Saudi Arabia only lets their richest elite have fun, why would tourists want to visit? America and Europe have much more privileges for normal people. People also don't like dress codes.

  35. Lol, you’ll all be absolutely broke and screwed soon. You sick Islamic pigs. We only don’t nuke you for oil. But no one will need oil soon??

  36. Just so you know that if you decide to go visit SA you might be jailed for no reason.. it’s still an outdated culture and stuck in careful what you do there.. women make sure you cover up… don’t get me wrong the country looks beautiful.. but I’m staying away…

  37. Saudis travel abroad because they enjoy the freedoms and the fun they can't have at home. No matter what attractions are built, foreigners who are comfortable with Western freedoms won't want to spend their holiday in a country where they will have less freedom.

  38. Why bother going to Saudi Arabia when there are a metric fuck ton of places that aren't awful, oppressive and hot? Ya no thanks.

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