With national tourism contributing immensely to its GDP, and recording an immense increase consistently, Saudi Arabia will be taking steps to improve its national heritage sites. According to a Euro monitor International Tourism Forecast report, the percentage of growth in Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector is being touted at 20% by 2020. Additionally, the World Travel and Tourism Council has predicted the travel and tourism sector of Saudi Arabia to contribute at least $81 billion to the country’s GDP by 2026.
The current value, however, for the religious tourism is over $5 billion and by 2025, the number of Hajj and Umrah visitors to the Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, annually, would be around 30 million. This has led to the country putting in all the efforts to double the number of the heritage sites registered from Saudi Arabia’s end with the UNESCO by 2030. Hence, National, Arab, Islamic and ancient cultural sites are on the list of restoration. the list includes tasks such as rehabilitation and operation of 15 handicraft centres, 18 urban heritage sites, 80 archaeological sites and an attempt to establish 18 regional museums. All in all, 98 initiatives are being charted for the same. Some of the sites would include the development of Fursan Islands and Al Raas Al Abyad shore, restoring the heritage buildings in Al-Ahsa Oasis and the rehabilitation study of the historic city center in Eshigra.