National Transformation Program supports over 140 heritage projects of SCTH
aTP- Arab tourism portal News – The National Transformation Program (NTP), recently approved a number of initiatives and projects concerning tourism and national heritage submitted by SCTH, totaling 13 initiatives at a cost of more than SR 10.48 billion, which is exceeding the cost of national heritage initiatives costing SR 3.65 billion.
Approval of these initiatives by NTP, constitutes an important support to SCTH to put the final touches to its implementation, development and rehabilitation of the projects for national heritage as an essential component of the national identity and a source of enhancing citizenship. Besides, its central role in enrooting the cultural prestige of the Kingdom and its historical depths through the ages, and its role in the diversification of the sources of national income through job creation and investments.
Initiatives adopted by NTP are as follows:
First – The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Caring of Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage (First phase):
NTP, to support a number of projects within the first phase of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Caring of Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage, has approved a number of projects. The program was submitted by SCTH over two years ago and was approved by the Late King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz (God bless his soul), and expanded and re-approved by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (may Allah protect him) early this year, 1437/2016.
NTP has allocated for the first phase of the Custodian’s program a sum of SR 3.6 billion to develop the components of the national cultural heritage. The allocation covers the following projects:
1- 17 handicraft centers:
Financial support of NTP for developing national cultural heritage elements will cover 17 handicraft centers through the National Handicraft Program (Bari), which is under the supervision of SCTH. The centers will be as follows:
Handicraft creativity Center for mud houses in King Abdul Aziz Historic Center in Riyadh, Handicraft creativity Center in Al Ghat, Handicraft development Center in Al Moftaha village in Abha, Handicraft creativity Center in Al Ula, Handicraft creativity Center in Al Ahsa, Handicraft creativity Center in Aba Saud Palace in Najran, Handicraft creativity Center in Al Ghashla Center in Hail, Handicraft Center at Turaif quarter in Historic Diriyah, visitor Center of SCTH in heritage village in Rejal Al M’a, Handicraft Center in Al Sour quarter in Yanbu, Al Madina railways station shops, heritage village at Bin Raqoosh Palace, Ze Ain historic village, Al Masokaf Souk in Unaizah, Handicraft souk in Enaizah, Historic Jeddah Handicraft souks and, productive families souk in Jazan.
2- 18 heritage sites:
NTP has also adopted to provide financial support for the rehabilitation and development of 18 heritage sites through National Urban Heritage Center in collaboration with other government agencies and local communities. The sites are as follows:
Urban heritage sites in Al Ahsa, Al Khobara heritage village in Al Qassim, Al Ula heritage village, Al Ghat heritage village, Turaif quarter in Historic Diriyah, Yanbu downtown, Rejal Al M’a heritage village, Ze Ain heritage village, Historic Jeddah, Eshaigir heritage village, Al Majm’a heritage town, Al Taif historical Center, Tem’a historical center, Fursan heritage island, Najran downtown, Al Deri historical Quarter in Dumat Al Jandal and Shagrah heritage village.
3- 18 museums:
NTP has also adopted to support SCTH in its efforts to establish, develop and operate 18 museums throughout different parts of the Kingdom through Antiquities and Museums Department of SCTH and collaboration with its other departments. The museums are:
King Abdul Aziz Castle in Debah, King Abdul Aziz Castle in Hagle, Al Ahsa Amiri School, Al Wajh Castle, Shubrah Palace Museum in Al Taif, Northern Boarders Museum, Antiquities and Heritage Museums in Al Madina, Al Ula, Tem’a, Al Dammam, Tabuk, Al Baha, Hail, Al Qassim, Al Jouf, Najran, Jazan and Asir.
4- 80 archeological sites:
NTP has also approved to support 80 archeological sites through the Department of Antiquities and Museums at SCTH. The sites are as follows:
Al Mardoma and Thaj sites in Al Jubail, Jarash site in Refaida, Asir province. Aynona site in Al Khoraiba, Tabuk, Aqraba battle site near Riyadh, Al Ogair seaport in Al Ahsa, Al Shwaimis, Jiba and Hama inscription in Jazan, Boat Workshop in Jazan, Al Mabyat Site in Al Ula, Al Hejaz Railways buildings in Tabuk and Al Madina, Al Ula Railway station, Al Jahwah archeological city in Al Namms, Asir province, Al Bataliyah Mosque in the Eastern Province, Al Jabri Mosque in Al Hafuf, Al Najdi Mosque in Fursan, Jowatha Mosque in Al Ahsa, Omar Mosque in Domat Al Jondal, Historic Mosque Rehabilitation project near Prophetic Mosque in Al Madina, Tawah Well Rehabilitation Project in Makkah, Rehabilitation Project of Al Hijra Road in Makkah, Al Hodaiba Site Rehabilitation Project in Al Madina, Auhud Battle Development Project in Al Madina, Ain Haneen Project in Makkah, Ghar Hera and Jabal Al Nour Project in Makkah, Wadi Al Ageeg Project in Al Madina, (Shuaib caves) Shuaib Magier in Tabuk, Al Dafi archeological site in Al Jubail, Ekma site in Al Ula, Al Fau site in Wadi Al Dawasir, Fed site in Al Shanan municipality in Hail province, Ghariyah site in Tabuk, Al Yamama village in Al Kharj, Asham village in Ghalawah municipality in Al Baha, Al Ghashla Castle in Hail, Ibrahim Palace in Al Ahsa, Al Emara Palace in Najran, Al Emara Palace in Lina in the Northern Boards, Al Hamra Palace in Tem’a, Al Radm Palace in Tem’a, Al Najdi Palace in Fursan, Shada Palace in Abha, Abdul Wahab Al Fehani Palace in Darain in the Eastern province, Eroah Palaces in Al Madina, Eairif Castle in Hail, Al Dowariah Castle in Jazan, Al Sayaidi Castle in Kaf village in Al Jouf, Al Othmania Castle in Fursan, Al Mowailih Castle in Tabuk, Zable Castle in Domat Al Jondal, Shamsan Castle in Abha, Marid Castle in Al Qassim, Marid Castle in Dumat Al Jandal.
The sites also include, Zebala Wells in Rafha in the Northern Boards, Al Okhdood Site in Najran, Um Daraj site in Al Ula, Al Shanana Tower in Al Rass municipality, Al Sedani Well in Al Bedai municipality in Tabuk, Sisra Well in Sakaka in Al Jouf, Hadaj Well in Tem’a, Al Refai houses in Fursan, Al Ula railways bridge, Al Hijir (Madain Saleh) site in Al Ula, Al Khoraiba site in Al Ula, Aba Al Gud Route at Qosor Al Mogbile in Riyadh, Zobaida Route in Al Madina, Al Rebzah site at Al Hanakia in Al Madina, Al Rajajeel site in Al Jouf, Sagi Frazan at Al Masalamia in Al Kharj municipality, Al Bint and Al Haseed Dams at Khaibar in Al Madina, Tem’a wall in Tem’a, Domat Al Jondal wall, Dhariyah site in Al Qassim, Levant Haj Route in Tabuk, Egyptian Haj Route in Tabuk, Kra old route in Al Taif, Al Asda site at Al Makhwah in Al Baha and Okaz site in Taif.
5- 6 new sites to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List:
NTP has consented to register six more sites into the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and the proposed sites are:
Al Ahsa Oasis, Dumat Al Jandal Oasis, Rejal Alm’a Heritage Village in Asir, Ze Ain Heritage Village in Al Baha, Egyptian and the Levant Haj Routes in Tabuk.
These sites will be added to the previously registered sites of the Kingdom in the World Heritage List of UNESCO – namely, Madain Saleh in 2008, Turaif Quarter at Historic Diriyah in 2010, Historical Jeddah in 2014, Rock Art of Hail in 2015.
6- 3 Heritage Companies:
The first phase of the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Caring of Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage also included establishment of three heritage companies under the supervision of SCTH, that should operate in line with commercial and developmental approach to ensure advancement in the provided services and achieve profitable returns for the artisans and the local communities. These companies are:
Saudi Company for Operating Heritage Sites, devoted to operation and maintenance of the heritage sites in the Kingdom.
Heritage Buildings Restoration Company, devoted to restoration and rehabilitation of heritage buildings, registering heritage buildings, and secure specialized staff trained to work on the restoration and rehabilitation of heritage buildings with high quality.
Saudi Handicraft Company, devoted to support and develop the quality of handicrafts products in the Kingdom. NTP agreed to allocate for this company SR 220 million.
Second – “Saudi Arabia: Destination of all Muslims” initiative:
NTP has also adopted the “Saudi Arabia: Destination of all Muslims” initiative and allocated SR 25 million for its implementation.
One of the most important routes of this initiative is the “After Umrah Tours”, which was launched by HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, President of SCTH.
It is aimed at Umrah performers and general visitors to the Kingdom, granting them the tourism and cultural benefits after their primary tasks, by visiting Islamic history sites, as well as visiting specialized museums, in addition to attending the events of business tourism, conferences and trading activities.
This is expected to contribute to the development of investment in the facilities to serve these groups, since their arrival in the Kingdom until their departure, along with infrastructure development, for considerably large group of visitors and Umrah performers through this initiative.