The country faces an uphill battle however, as the majority of tourists in the Gulf travel to the UAE, where relaxed laws on bikinis and alcohol allow for a more ‘liberal’ experience.
The Red Sea Project, a luxury resort to be built between the cities of Amlaj and al-Jawh, will be “governed by laws on par with international standards,” a statement by the Saudi Public Investment Fund [PIF] said.
The tourism development plan is a part of the Vision 2030 reform plan – devised by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a way to wean the country’s economy off oil and improve the local economy.
Saudi Arabia by contrast, has banned alcohol, enforces strict gender segregation and maintains strict regulations on how women can dress.
The investment fund is working to combat these negative images of the country by focusing on the region’s unspoilt and pristine natural beauty, which will reportedly be protected by strict environmental laws.
Source – The New Arab