Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Sir Richard Branson to turn 50 Saudi Arabian islands into luxury tourism destinations

Sir Richard Branson to turn 50 Saudi Arabian islands into luxury tourism destinations
November 1, 2017

Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson is to invest in a project that aims to turn 50 Saudi Arabian islands in the Red Sea into luxury tourism destinations.

Annouced on Sunday by the Saudi Arabian Government, Sir Richard is the first international investor to commit to the project, with Saudi Arabian Information Ministry officials describing the move as "a clear sign that Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to international tourism".

The announcement followed Sir Richard visiting tombs at Madain Saleh - an UNESCO World Heritage site located near a string of new hotels - in a trip to the Gulf kingdom that appears to be aimed at attracting further international attention, both investment and tourism.

In a statement released by the information ministry, Sir Richard advised “this is an incredibly exciting time in the country's history and I've always felt that there's nothing like getting a firsthand impression.”

Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative countries in the world, only recently introducing moves to allow women to drive and attend sporting venues.

However, since the appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman as successor to his father's throne in June, the oil-rich state has launched a media offensive aimed at promoting the country's image.

Prince Mohammed, who sidelined his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef to be appointed the royal heir, is also the champion of Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 economic plan.

The scheme aims to pull the region's biggest economy out of its dependence on oil and diversify the country's economic revenue model.

In August, Saudi Arabia announced plans to turn 34,000 kilometre² of its Red Sea coastline into luxury resorts.

The project is aimed at attracting international tourists to a country where alcohol is prohibited and the mobility and dress of women restricted.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is headed by Prince Mohammed, will provide the initial investment into the Red Sea project, with construction slated to start in 2019.

The Red Sea project is expected to generate 35,000 jobs, according to the Saudi Government.

Image: Branson visited the tombs at Madain Saleh during his trip to Saudi Arabia. Courtesy of Virgin.com

11th October 2017 - SAUDI ARABIA REVEALS US$2.7 BILLION PLAN TO EXPAND ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR

27th March 2017 - VIRGIN ACTIVE’S NEW BANGKOK CLUB TAPS INTO HIGH-END FITNESS MARKET 

19th January 2017 - VIRGIN ACTIVE LAUNCHES GLOBAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

17th January 2017 - VIRGIN SPORT ANNOUNCES FIRST INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

25th October 2016 - HAJJ PILGRIMAGE TO BOOST SAUDI ARABIAN TOURISM TO OVER 20 MILLION VISITORS BY 2020 

20th September 2015 - BRANSON ACKNOWLEDGES KEY PEOPLE BEHIND THE EXPANSION OF VIRGIN ACTIVE 

14th September 2015 - VIRGIN ACTIVE RAMPS UP GROWTH PLANS IN AUSTRALIA AND EAST ASIA 

21st August 2015 - FIRST EVER GLOBAL HALAL TRAVEL GLOSSARY LAUNCHED

28th February 2013 - SAUDI ARABIA EARNS $16.5 BILLION FROM RELIGIOUS TOURISM


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

BODY BIKE AUSTRALIA

BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

PAYSMART

Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology

 
 

Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

RHINOPLAY

Rhinoplay offers playground equipment in Australia that is safe, durable, and most importantly fun! We specialise in creating unique indoor playgrounds for play centres and outdoor playgrounds for…

read more

Parks / Play / Surfaces

 
 

REGUPOL

Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces

 
 

EventPro

At EventPro Software, we are proudly different from our industry competitors. We have a development-driven culture and 20 years’ experience in event, venue, and catering management software,…

read more

Events / Hospitality / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues

 
 

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business