Saudi Arabia is keen to hop onboard with cruise tourism in a renewed effort to diversify the country’s revenue away from oil.
It will promote the country as a cruise destination and will oversee port development under the direction of Saudi Arabia’s Public investment Fund (PIF) .
A new company, Cruise Saudi, headquartered in the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, plans to talk to international cruise companies about the potential for cruising in the Middle East using Saudi Arabia as a hub.
Cruise Saudi interim CEO Fawaz Farooqui said their brand will be the main platform for international cruise companies to negotiate entry into the Saudi market.
Saudi Arabia is moving quickly to establish itself as an international tourist destination in line with its Vision 2030, a strategic framework to diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
Saudi Arabia is creating several mega attractions as part of Vision 2030. One of the biggest is Qiddiya, located close to Riyadh that will become the world’s largest entertainment city – surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida.
Also, on a mega scale, the Red Sea Project will be developed on Saudi’s west coast. It includes an archipelago of more than 90 islands and lagoons, coral reefs and desert canyons.