The Magic of Saudi Tourism Explained to British Business Leaders


The British Embassy in Riyadh is a place where UK business leaders residing in Saudi Arabia can enjoy some fish and chips and talk about opportunities.

Developing the fast-changing travel and tourism sector in Saudi Arabia was on the agenda last night at the Riyadh Group for British Businesses (RGBB) meeting at the United Kingdom Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

The star of the night was HE, Gloria Guevara. The former Mexican tourism minister, and the former CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has been the special advisor for HE Ahmed Al-Khateeb, th.

Magic seems to be possible in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

His Highness Prince Mansour bin Saad Al Saud, Deputy Director General at the King Faisal Foundation and Board Member of Al Khozama Investment, was a guest at the event last night.

He explained how such magic can become a reality when the needed funding is put behind it.

Faisal Adkhali, a lecturer in Tourism at King Saud University, agreed with His Highness.

Educating and training hundreds of thousands of Saudis and foreign workers to make the planned development of hundreds of new hotels and tourism infrastructure workable is underway.

The demand for tourism in Saudi Arabia is there. Connectivity is becoming tied. Airfares from Dubai to Riyadh often sell for $900.00 one way.

The Saudi Arabian government helps many airlines to raise capacity to raise the capacity of carriers serving this market, but this is only the humbling beginning.

The eTurboNews publisher Juergen Steinmetz attended the event and asked about Riyadh Air.

Riyadh Air is the new kid on the block and will start flying in 2025. The most significant future carrier in the world serving from the largest airport is a current dream and most likely be a reality in some short years.

The money is behind this dream. The reality will most likely kick in sooner than expected, making Riyadh a new Middle East connecting point for the world and Saudi Arabia a tourism destination like no other.

What about water planes with panoramic windows serving the new Red Sea resorts? Riyadh Air wants to bring the fun back into flying.

First class has never been a money maker in the aviation business. Riyadh Air will concentrate on a state-of-the-art business class, an upgrade luxury economy class ruling out a first-class section.

Dr. James Morgan, Ph.D., moderated the lively discussion at the UK Embassy in Riyadh last night. An international educator, experience designer, and British leader currently residing in Riyadh.

The Riyadh Group for British Business (RGBB) is a British Embassy and UK Department for International Trade (DIT) supported business-focused group to promote the interests of British businesses and individuals in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.

As the ‘go to’ group for British business, amongst their work is an annual member survey focusing on the key issues for individuals and businesses in Saudi Arabia.

The results of this survey are provided to the UK Embassy in Riyadh, giving them an invaluable source of information and key indicators on business conditions in Riyadh, and this is used to inform their high-level discussions.

Riyadh Group runs several events throughout the year, including:

  • Special Briefings on the latest hot topics and key industry developments
  • Networking evenings
  • Sector-specific Focus Groups

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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