With Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) approving the landing of international flights at Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz Airport in AlUla, experts believe that the Kingdom is successfully moving forward in its strategy to attract more tourists.
Saudi Arabia developing mega tourism projects is destined to improve the Kingdom’s score in travel and tourism competitiveness indices.
Experts emphasized that facilitating travelers' access to heritage and tourism areas will help AlUla reach its goal of welcoming two million visitors yearly by 2035.
Nasser Al Ghalyan, the founder of a prominent tourism investment group in the Kingdom, confirmed that Saudi Arabia, with the support of its leadership, is working on a strategic plan to become a global tourist destination and attraction.
Approving the landing on international flights in AlUla, according to Ghalyan, will result in a contribution to the cumulative GDP of about SR 120 billion ($3.2 billion). It will also create at least 38,000 jobs by the year 2035.
Ghalyan highlighted AlUla being one of the oldest provinces in the Arabian Peninsula and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
AlUla is known for its historical, geological and geographical importance.
“AlUla is an honorable interface for Saudi tourism, similar to what we see in Paris, Rome, Geneva, Shanghai, Time Square and a number of international and Arab capitals, and millions have been poured into marketing it,” said Ghalyan, stressing that investments in the heritage spot has exceeded SR2.6 billion.
The GACA gave AlUla’s airport the green light on receiving international flights after it having met all operational requirements in accordance with international standards and in line with the needs of the competent authorities operating at the airport.
Since August 2019, the airport has witnessed a number of development projects implemented by the GACA in cooperation with the Royal Commission for AlUla governorate, to keep pace with the expected growth of air traffic in the region, as a global destination, and in line with the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030.
The airport’s annual capacity has increased from 100,000 passengers to 400,000 and its area has increased to 2.4 million square meters.
The airport has several facilities and services, including the executive lounge, which was designed according to the latest international standards and with advanced technologies.
The airport is among the 10 biggest airports in Saudi Arabia and can accommodate up to 15 commercial aircraft at any one time.