Saudi Arabia: Tourism boost for Madinah, hub of Islamic and historical sites

By Yusuf Mohammed – Arab News

MADINAH: Big steps are being taken to attract more visitors to Madinah, one of Saudi Arabia’s most important tourist regions. It has many Islamic and historical sites, most of them linked with the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Madinah Hilton

They include historical mosques and the locations of battles. Madinah was the capital of Islamic culture in 2013 and the capital of Islamic tourism in 2017, and it witnessed tremendous progress in the tourism sector.
Khalid bin Hussein Al-Shahrani, director general of the Madinah branch of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told Arab News: “Madinah is witnessing continuous activity in the tourism sector thanks to the support and guidance of Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah Region and chairman of the Tourism Development Council in the region.

“Madinah is considered one of the pillars of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 and Vision 2030. Therefore, the Tourism Development Board seeks to revitalize tourism through many steps, including the development of facilities and service sites in addition to the preparation of the tourist accommodation sector which reached 565 facilities in Madinah area, as well as packages of activities and entertainment programs.”

The region will implement a number of investment projects that will contribute to the revitalization of tourism, providing revenue and more job opportunities in this vital sector, said Al-Shahrani.

He said Madinah includes 173 licensed travel and tourism agencies, and the SCTH is to license 55 tour operators and eight offices for booking tourist accommodation. The number of accredited tourist guides in the SCTH in Madinah has reached 63.

Shahrani also noted that Madinah runs tourist buses, which cover historical, heritage and tourist sites in the region. This project was launched in conjunction with the coronation of Madinah as the capital of Islamic tourism for the year 2017.