Saudi Arabia, the resource rich Kingdom in Middle East which serves as the centre of the Islamic Faith, has plans for a 2 trillion USD Sovereign Fund for their “post oil” era.
This is a very smart move as we all know that nothing lasts forever and they, as well as everyone else, are fully aware that the oil, which constitutes a massive part of the Saudi economy, will one day end.
Saudi Arabia has some incredibly opulent and luxurious Hotels and numerous international Hospitality groups are present in the Kingdom and doing very well.
Naturally, because of the governing law, the primary influx of tourism is business tourism and religious tourism which bring in millions of visitors annually.
But, what is the future of tourism in Saudi Arabia?
When the oil finishes, which it will, the kingdom will have income from a myriad of investments made abroad, but, are these going to be enough to fully fund and sustain an entire country?
We say this because once the oil is gone, it is fair enough to say that a large part of the business tourism will disappear and a vast amount of jobs will no longer be required.
The properties already operational and the new ones that will open in the next decade, will definitely more than recoup the initial investment rendering them profitable entities and, because of their city locations, they will continue to benefit from the religious tourism as well.
The question remains, how will Saudi Arabia maintain the demand from groups to open properties and create jobs after the oil and a chunk of business tourism is gone?
Hotels and hotel groups are huge employers in the region and a vital part for the future of Saudi Arabia’s economy.
Perhaps a Hong Kong type experiment would be needed in order to be able to expand the tourism market.
Saudi Arabia has miles and miles of Coast line which is undeveloped and rightfully so because, at the end of the day, why would they develop it since the country is governed by very strict laws concerning public appearance, behaviour and attire.
If Saudi Arabia would emulate HK in terms of forming an SAR ( Special Administrative Region ) where they could implement different laws and allow for more, let’s call it, international style tourism it would boost the economy tremendously.
Naturally this will be a far more extreme version of SAR in numerous ways than HK is to China.
Try and imagine the Hotel developments that could be built, the food outlets, the shopping centres, new roads, and so on.
How many jobs will be created? How much investment will be poured into the country? How much press will it receive?
The answer to all the above is a LOT!
This would create a Boom in Saudi Arabia for which the demand could be created and sustained.
This SAR would need some drastically different laws and be located away from any religious centre so as to not cause any insult to their faith and religious institutions, and would need to carry different laws in regards to being in public, drinking and individual attire in order to be a success and attract visitors from around the world.
This is, of course, easier said than done, because to pass such an initiative would be extremely hard due to the politics involved.
The benefits would be tremendous and very long term as, Saudi Arabia, commands a high price tag for luxury and Luxury Hotels and we have to admit that a 5 star Hotel in Saudi Arabia is truly an experience in opulence.
Perhaps this idea will remain a dream in our heads, but we do hope that in the years to come someone with the correct vision of how to implement such an idea will emerge as there is only benefit ahead for everyone once, and if, it does.
Below are some of the top properties in Saudi Arabia’s Main cities.
Lavish surroundings and elegantly appointed rooms with a definite aspect of “grandeur” await guests in this beautiful property.
Located in the city it also provides quick access to various areas.
A true palace, boasting some beautifully maintained grounds, this impressive property is truly fit for a king.
Guests will be wanting for nothing once they immerse themselves in the luxury provided by this amazing Hotel.