Saudi launches US$13bn infrastructure plan

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a 50 billion riyal (US$13 billion) strategy on Tuesday. 

This strategy includes various development projects that will transform the Aseer region on the Red Sea coast into a tourism hub that is hoped to attract 10 million travelers by 2030.

The aim is to develop tourist attractions in the mountainous area, as well as upgrade services, and healthcare and transport infrastructure, state news agency SPA said. 

The Gulf Arab state began allowing access to foreign tourists in September 2019 through a new visa regime. The state is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy and wants tourism to be responsible for 10% of gross domestic product by 2030.

While the global international tourism sector was badly affected by the global pandemic, local campaigns ensured in part that the millions of dollars Saudis would normally spend overseas were kept within the territory. 

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