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Saudi aims to become more tourist friendly Go Back
 
Little to no information is known about tourist attractions in the reclusive country of Saudi Arabia. Hoping to slowly open up this Middle East's nation's tourism industry, officials are pushing for some sites to be included in the World Heritage List.
Saudi is slowly opening up to tourism. In a bid to attract the attention of international community, Saudi authorities said they are planning to discuss if some Saudi sites could be included in the World Heritage List during the International Conference of Heritage meeting in Canada next year.
Among these sites are Riyadh's Al-Tarif district, Jeddah's old city and Madain Saleh.
Prince Sultan Bin Salman, the secretary general of the Supreme Court for Tourism (SCT) said that listing the sites on the World Heritage List will familiarize more people to how strongly tied these are to Saudi Arabia's cultural heritage.
He added that doing so will also boost efforts to bring about cultural and economic benefits to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia signed the World Heritage Protection Agreement with UNESCO in 1977. The agreement covers preservation of important heritage sites according to set responsibilities handled by its 177 member states.
As the cradle of Islam, Saudi Arabia abounds in historical heritage. There are supposed to be no less than 300 locations between Makkah and Madina, two of Islam's most important sanctuaries.
Situated approximately mid-way between Tabuk and Madina is Madain Saleh , the majestic site of over Nabateans tombs, carved from sheer, sandstone cliff-faces. The area was once the location of a significant city located on a major trade route from Yemen to Damascus. During the early Islamic period it became an important pilgrimage station for Syrians and Egyptians traveling to the holy cities of Madinah and Makkah.
The old city of Jeddah was for centuries a sleepy port by a shimmering sea relying on the passing trade of spice caravans and pilgrims to Makkah. In Riyadh's Al Tarif's district beyond the modern veneer there's lot of Arabian history and culture.

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