LifestyleSaudi Arabia's tourism boom: Aiming for 150 million visitors by 2030

Saudi Arabia's tourism boom: Aiming for 150 million visitors by 2030

Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans.
Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | "WAJED RAMADAN @WAJEDRAM"

6:31 AM EST, March 1, 2024

Saudi Arabia, known for its penchant for luxury and significant investments, is on the path to becoming a coveted tourist destination fueled by nearly limitless financial reserves and an ambitious drive for success. The country is earnestly working towards achieving this vision.

The Saudi Ministry of Tourism revealed on Tuesday, February 27, that 2023 saw a remarkable influx of tourists, reaching 106.2 million. This marks a 56 percent increase from the numbers recorded in 2019 and a 12 percent growth compared to 2022. Of this impressive total, foreign guests alone accounted for 27.4 million visitors last year.

Yet, Saudi Arabia's aspirations do not end here. Five years ago, the National Tourism Strategy articulated the country's ambitious goal to attract 150 million tourists annually by 2030—an increasingly achievable target.

Saudi Arabia to host the world's largest urban park

Riyadh, the nation's capital, is on course to establish the world's largest urban park. King Salman Park, developed on a former military airport's site, aims to offer a verdant oasis amid the desert, featuring extensive green spaces, trees, and shrubs.

The park will be home to the World Cultures Museum, a national theater, and the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts. With plans to plant 30 million plants and create a forest, King Salman Park is expected to materialize between 2025 and 2026.

New attractions: An amusement park and ski resort underway

Saudi Arabia is making headway with an amusement park, "The Rig," constructed on an oil rig platform on the eastern coastline near Al Juraid Island and the Berri oil field. This development is roughly 3.2 million square feet and promises a unique blend of excitement and innovation.

Additionally, the country is laying the groundwork for a ski resort in the futuristic city of Neom. Named Trojena, this resort will nestle approximately 31 miles from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, spreading over 23 square miles and reaching altitudes between 4,921 and 8,530 feet above sea level.

The world's largest airport in the making

Investments in transportation are also a significant focus for Saudi Arabia. The country is developing a railway line connecting Riyadh and Al-Qurayyat, near the Jordanian border, where the luxurious "Dream of the Desert" train, featuring 15 carriages and 40 lavish cabins styled in Saudi tradition, will travel.

Plans are afoot to construct a new airport in Riyadh to replace the current one. The forthcoming King Salman Airport will boast six runways. By 2050, it is projected to manage up to 185 million passengers annually, making it the largest airport globally.

Another addition will be the Neom Airport, which aims to support the nascent Neom Airlines. The national carrier is looking to broaden its network of routes by 2025 considerably.

Source: Fly4free
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