JEDDAH: Miteb Al-Rouqi | Arab News/Al-Eqtisadiah
An “Extended Umrah” program will be launched next month by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities allowing pilgrims from 65 countries to make use of their visas to visit major tourist destinations in the Kingdom.
“We have signed agreements with the Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs and Haj to provide this service,” said Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTA. He added that licensed companies would provide the service.
He said Umrah companies that have obtained tourism permits would also be entitled to provide the new service. More than six million foreign pilgrims are expected to perform Umrah during the coming season.
Speaking about the agreement he signed on Monday with the Economic Cities Authority, Prince Sultan highlighted the significance of King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh in terms of attracting investment and boosting tourism.
He stressed the SCTA’s plan to promote tourism in economic cities as well as other tourist centers across the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, said his organization has plans to set up tourism and entertainment projects in order to develop economic cities.
“We’ll allocate adequate space for such projects by international companies,” he said when asked whether SAGIA has plans to set up theme parks like Disneyland at economic cities.