SCTH to open 140 heritage sites as part of reform plan
RIYADH — The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced that it will establish 140 new heritage projects as part of its national reform program plan.
A source said the projects would cost an estimated SR10.4 billion under 13 initiatives headed by the commission.
“The commission will open 17 new handcrafts centers in various areas of the Kingdom. The commission will open centers in Riyadh, Al-Miftaha Village in Abha, Al-Ghat, Al-Ula, Al-Ahsa, Aba Assaud Castle in Najran, Al-Qishla Castle in Hail, Turaif District in Historical Al-Diriyah, Rijal Almaa, Al-Sour District in Yanbu, the Railway Station in Madinah, the Historical Village in Bin Raqoush Castle, Thi Ain Historical Village, Al-Musoukif Souk in Unaizah, Crafts Souk in Buraidah, Crafts Souk in Old Jeddah and Productive Families Souk in Jazan,” said the source.
The source also said the commission registered 18 archeological buildings in the Kingdom as historical sites.
“The commission cooperated with the public and private sector to restore and preserve these historical sites,” the source said.
The sites include buildings in Al-Ahsa, the Historical Village of Al-Khubaraa in Qassim, Al-Ula Historical Village, Al-Ghat Historical Village, Turaif District in Al-Diriyah, Yanbu Historical City, Rijal Almaa Historical Village in Asir, Thi Ain Historical Village in Baha, Old Jeddah, Najran Historical City, Al-Dir’ Historical District in Dowmat Al-Jandal, Ushaiqir Historical Village, Al-Mojamaah Historical City, Taif Historical City, Taimaa Historical City, Farasan Historical Island, Abha Historical City and Shaqraa Historical Village.
The source also said the commission has registered 18 museums as part of the national heritage.
The museums include King Abdulaziz Castle in Dhiba, King Abdulaziz Castle in Haql, Amiriyah School in Al-Ahsa, Al-Wajh Castle, Shibra Historical Museum in Taif, Northern Borders Museum and Heritage and Artifacts Museum in Madinah, Al-Ula, Taimaa, Dammam, Tabuk, Hail, Qassim, Jouf, Najran, Jazan and Asir.
The source also said the commission has registered 80 areas as historical sites in the Kingdom.
These include Al-Mardoumah Historical Site in Jubail, Thaj in Jubail, Jarsh in Uhud Rufaidah, Ainounah in Al-Khuraibah in Tabuk, Aqrabaa Battlefield near Riyadh, Al-Aqeer Port in Al-Ahsa, Al-Shuwaimish relics in Hail, Jubbah relics in Hail, Hama relics in Najran, Warshat Al-Qawarib in Jazan, Al-Mabyat in Al-Ula, Historical Hijaz Railway Buildings in Madinah and Tabuk, Historical Railway Station in Al-Ula, Al-Jahwah Historical City in Al-Namas, Al-Bitaliyah Mosque in Al-Bitaliyah Governorate in the Eastern Province, Al-JAbry Mosque in Hafuf in Al-Ahsa, Al-Najdi Mosque in Farasan, Juwatha Mosque in Al-Ahsa, Omar Mosque in Dowmat Al-Jandal, Historical Mosques near the Prophet’s Mosque, Tuwa Well in Makkah, Al-Hijrah Road in Makkah, Al-Hudaibiyah in Madinah and the Sayid Al-Shuhada area where the Battle of Uhud took place.
The list also includes Ain Hunain Project in Makkah, Hiraa Cave and Jebal Al-Noor in Makkah, Al-Aqiqi Valley in Madinah, Mughayir Shuaib in Al-Bida, Al-Dafi Historical Site in Jubail, Akma in Al-Ula, Al-Fao in Wadi Al-Dawasir, Faid in Al-Shinan in Hail, Al-Yamamah Village in Al-Kharj, Eshm Village in Qulwa, Al-Qishla Village in Hail, Ibrahim Castle in Al-Ahsa, Al-Imara Castle in Najran, Al-Imara Castle in Linah in the Northern Border Province and many others.
“The commission will register six historical sites in the Kingdom as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are Al-Ahsa Oasis, Dowmat Al-Jandal Oasis, Rijal Almaa Historical Village, Thi Ain Historical Village, Al-Haj Al-Masri Road and Al-Haj Al-Shami Road in Tabuk,” said the source.
The commission registered Madain Saleh as the World Heritage in 2008, Al-Turaif District in Historical Al-Diriyah in 2010, Old Jeddah in 2014 and Hail relics in 2015.
Three companies are working with the commission to preserve and promote all the historical sites in the Kingdom. These include the Saudi Company for Operating Historical Sites, Historical Buildings Renovation Company and the Saudi Company for Handcrafts.
The commission has launched a tourism initiative by the name “The Kingdom: The Destination of Muslims”. The initiative organizes several activities for pilgrims including tourist trips as part of the Umrah package, the source said.