June 5, 2023

Moon Desk: King Salman ordered on Tuesday the appointment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Under the royal decrees issued by the king, Prince Khalid bin Salman will become Defense Minister amidst a cabinet reshuffle, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Meanwhile, more than 200 business leaders on Monday attended a Saudi Tourism Development Fund event aimed at promoting investment opportunities.

The fund’s first roadshow, Discover Beyond Taif, was held at the city’s Iridium Hotel.

Located 1,879 meters above sea level in the Makkah region, Taif is a popular summer destination for local and regional tourists drawn by its pleasant weather, hiking trails, picnic spots, and rich history. The city is also known for agri-tourism, and its rose production has earned it the title City of Roses.

Khalid Al-Sharif, the fund’s associate director of coverage of large institutions, said: “The Tourism Development Fund was established in 2020, and since then the Kingdom has gone through a huge transformation in the tourism industry.”

He noted that Taif had been selected to stage the fund’s first roadshow because of its strategic location.

“It has been one of the hotspots of tourism in the Kingdom for a long time. We believe our presence here is very important to introduce our services and ourselves to the people in Taif, and the people interested in investing in Taif,” he added.

The fund provides guidance and financial support to those interested in investing in the city.

“We believe that both options are very important for investors so we can support them from the beginning. If you have just a small idea, we will help you develop this idea to see it into reality,” Al-Sharif said.

Financial backing can be provided through direct funding, guarantees, or direct equity.

The TDF works with partners including the Arab National Bank, and Riyad Bank, in addition to government bodies such as Kafalah and Monsha’at.

“We all have the one same objective that is to promote tourism in Saudi Arabia and invest in tourism in Saudi Arabia. And since we are in Taif, we need to invest in Taif and take advantage of the amazing weather, geography, great people, and the close distance to Makkah.

“Taif is one of the main destinations that will drive the tourism industry in the Kingdom. Mountain resorts can also be leveraged on due to the weather. We are also looking to have a wellness resort in the near future as well.

“The fund’s strategy is aligned with the Kingdom’s strategy, with Vision 2030. It is in alignment with the national tourism strategy, to increase the number of visitors up to 100 million by 2030, in addition to increasing the GDP (gross domestic product) contribution and the job creations that are derived from the tourism industry,” Al-Sharif added.

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