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Tue 5 Feb 2019 10:01 AM

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Saudi Arabia's KAEC targeting 1m tourists in 2019

KAEC's CEO said that 'elite sports' such as golf, fishing and motor racing will serve to bring in more domestic and international leisure visitors

Saudi Arabia's KAEC targeting 1m tourists in 2019
KAEC group CEO Ahmed Linjawi said the city had approximately 500,000 visitors in 2018.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) plans to attract one million domestic and international leisure visitors in 2018, according to KAEC group CEO Ahmed Linjawi.

Speaking to Arabian Business on the sidelines of the Saudi International golf tournament, Linjawi said the city had approximately 500,000 visitors in 2018.

“That’s leisure visitors. We have day-to-day leisure visitors is a key performance indicator for us,” he said. “This year we’re aiming to double that number.”

Becoming a premier leisure destination on the Red Sea, he said, form one of the four “strategic pillars” that KAEC is focusing on.

“This is where events and entertainment come play, as well as everything that has to do with hospitality,” he added.

Linjawi added that KAEC “elite sports” as a sector in which the city can become a leader in Saudi Arabia.

“That’s where golf comes into play, and motor racing. We have a motor track under construction,” he said. “There’s also marine sports, at an international level, like international fishing competitions and diving.”

Additionally, Linjawi revealed that a culinary academy is currently being built at KAEC.

“It serves two purposes. One is to develop the capabilities of the Saudi talents who are required in the hospitality sector,” he said. “But it could also be part of KAEC’s leisure part, where families can come here for a half or full-day cooking class.’’

Among the leisure and hospitality, facilities currently available at KAEC are a golf course and one hotel, with another one under construction.

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