Saudi nationals make up 28 per cent of the 670,000tourism-related jobs in Kingdom
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Jeddah, June30, 2012 – The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA)believes that the tourism sector is one of the key drivers of the Saudi economyand is an important factor for economic development, especially given the SAR290 billion worth of tourism-related projects that are currently underway inthe Kingdom, including railway projects. These developments are expected tocreate more job opportunities for Saudi nationals, who currently account for 28per cent of the 670,000 tourism-related jobs in the Kingdom.
Given theincreasing demand for high quality hospitality projects across the Kingdom,especially in Makkah, Abdul Latif Jameel Real EstateInvestment Co. (ALJREIC), one of the leading real estate and developmentcompanies in Saudi Arabia that is focused on developing hotel facilities forHajj and Ummrah visitors,recently launched the SAR 10 billion JabalAl Ka’aba project. Uponcompletion, the project is expected to add up to 8,500 hotel roomsthrough a cluster of hotels over the next few years, under the “Anjum Hotels” brand.
“Through the Jabal Al Ka’aba project we expectto create approximately 400 jobs for Saudi nationals, demonstratingALJREIC’s commitment to strengthen the country’s tourismsector, while maximizing employment opportunities for locals and supportingindustry-oriented plans,” said Mahmoud Mokhtar, Chief Operating Officerof Abdul Latif Jameel Real Estate Investment Co.
According to areport issued by MAS Centre, a department of the SCTA, the average annualoccupancy of hotel rooms in the Kingdom has increased by 3.8 percent from 59.2per cent in 2010 to 63 per cent in 2011; while tourism jobs accounted for 8 percent of total employees in the Kingdom in 2011, compared to 7.9 per cent in2010. SCTA also stressed on the economic potential ofthis promising sector to create new jobs across various levels, even asestimates indicate that the tourism sector will employ nearly 1.1 millionpeople by 2015 in Saudi Arabia. once the planned tourism-related expectedprojects and investments start.