Saudi Arabia has seen approximately 500 entertainment-related companies establish themselves in the kingdom over the last year, according to Khaled Tash, the deputy governor for marketing and communication of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Additionally, Tash said that he believes a significant number of tourism-related companies will establish themselves in Saudi Arabia in the near future.
As evidence of Saudi Arabia’s potentially lucrative tourism sector, Tash pointed to the eight week Winter Festival held in the kingdom’s Al Ula governorate, the site of Nabatean tombs carved into a rock.
At the Future Investment Initiative summit held in Riyadh in October, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah signed an agreement with Germany-based SAP to develop cloud technology to help cater to pilgrims.
A separate agreement was signed with Cisco Saudi Arabia to help improve the ministry’s digital infrastructure.
“These will digitise the pilgrim experience. That’s something very important,” Tash noted. “We’ve already seen a lot of progress in making the journey better. We want to move from 8 or 9 million pilgrims coming throughout the year for the previous two or three years to 30 million by 2030, so we’ll need to streamline the process and make it much easier.”
In mid-2018, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia announced the launch of the “Makkah Road Initiative”, a pre-clearance system that will help facilitate the journey of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Tash added that, for the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history, government departments have been mandated to “find ways to engage investors.”
Source: Arabian Business