The Riyadh Season helped revive financial operations in the Saudi capital with more than 333,000 transactions made through more than 200,000 bank cards at the event, revealed official statistics from the Saudi Payments Network (Mada).
These transactions have amounted to more than SAR156 million (approximately $41.5 million), five percent of which were made by foreign visitors despite their preference to pay in cash.
The Riyadh Season has exceeded economic expectations and helped attract a large number of tourists as demonstrated in the unprecedented high hotel occupancy. Some 100,000 tourists and 5.6 million visitors had attended the festival, said Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority(GEA) Turki Al Sheikh.
Riyadh Season was organized by 280 Saudi companies. It provided 24,000 seasonal jobs and more than 22,000 part-time jobs, he added.
“The Riyadh Season is a national project that has social and economic dimensions,” remarked Economic Advisor Dr. Amer al-Husseini.
He stressed that it is one of the Kingdom’s soft power tools that shows the world the extent of investment opportunities.
Its partnership with international companies promotes the localization of the entertainment and tourism industry in the Kingdom, he noted.
“This festival is one of the great opportunities that can be invested to bolster the national economy and develop financial resources from the productive sectors.”
Husseini added that it also contributes to the creation of permanent and temporary job opportunities, which have a significant role in refining youth skills and enhancing their functional capabilities.
Moreover, he stressed that Saudi Arabia’s emergence on the map of global events will play a role in boosting its relations with other countries.
This openness will allow tourists to learn about the indigenous Saudi national culture and promote partnerships among peoples, he noted.
Riyadh Season ends on December 15.