Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s recent decrees to protect the environment and wildlife and transform them into tourist destination reflect his keenness on preserving the Kingdom’s natural environment.
Nine areas have been designated as royal reservations and their board of directors have been appointed in an effort to limit overfishing and overgrazing, prevent deforestation and maintain and increase vegetation.
The reserves will not be fenced off because they are the public property.
Saudi Arabia is ready to link its landscape with projects and development visions, this time through investment.
The reserves are not limited to deserts, but they include beaches and mountains, which based on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, have drawn the interest of high-level governing bodies that want to transform them into attractions given the competitive environmental tourism in the region.
King Salman ordered the establishment of the Council of Royal Reserves to help promote natural landscapes as tourist destinations. The Council will be headed by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
The royal decree stated that each natural reserve must have its own independent management and budget. The decree gave the Experts Commission at the Council of Ministers three months to appoint qualified leaders to handle the management of each reserve.
The nine locations that have come under the royal decree form a resource of biological, geological, and genetic diversity that have tremendous potential to withstand harsh environmental conditions. They also boast a number of amphibian species near ponds, waterways and other wetlands.
According to estimates, ecotourism worldwide is on the rise, especially in locations not affected by urbanization, such as natural reserves.
Saudi Arabia, with its location in the middle of the region, may become one of the largest natural reserves given its rich environment. This will help attract foreign visitors that will in turn help diversify sources of income in the Kingdom in line with Vision 2030.