Saudi Arabia is keen to reduce its dependency on oil and has been promoting tourism, including film tourism in recent years.
The country has hosted several Hollywood and Bollywood events and film festivals and a few Hollywood films have also been shot in Saudi. However, it’s only recently that Bollywood has shot its first film, which is filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and SRK’s first collaboration ‘Dunki’.
A portion of the film was shot at Neom in Saudi Arabia; the announcement was made at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah.
Nearby cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai in UAE are strong competitors and a favourite spot for Hollywood filmmakers, and Saudi is keen to attract more filmmakers to their country.
The country has several beautiful, unexplored locations which will be a treat to watch for the audience.
Janhvi Kapoor in AlUla, one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest cities. AlUla is home to several fascinating ancient monuments. Janhvi says that AlUla is like a living museum of preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, historic dwellings, and monuments, both natural and human-made.
Saudi Arabia plans luxury travel destinations along Red Sea to attract foreign tourists
Saudi Arabia is keen to place itself on the “international tourism map”, and plans luxury travel destinations along the Red Sea coast, but will foreign tourists still flock to Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is making a play to put itself on the “international tourism map,” the Telegraph reports.
According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia plans to build luxury resorts on more than 13,000 square miles of Red Sea coastline, including “50 untouched natural islands”, with the intention of making the country’s economy less reliant on oil.
The goal of the project is to attract 1 million “luxury travelers from around the globe” per year by 2035.
But why would foreign tourists want to go to a place where there so many restrictions?
Alcohol, movie theaters, and plays are banned, women are required to wear full-length robes in public, and there are limits on men and women mixing — all these restrictions defeats the purpose of a vacation for most travelers.
However, it seems there will be “semi-autonomous” zones where laws might be relaxed (more like the United Arab Emirates), although its unclear as of now exactly which laws will be relaxed at the resorts.
If Saudi Arabia wants to attract a large number of foreign tourists, they will need to relax certain rules. “If you can’t change restrictions on alcohol and dress, that market disappears,” says one tourism expert.
Watch: Saudi Arabia – Land of Peace