Saudi tourism official clarifies country's stand on alcohol consumption
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Saudi tourism official clarifies country’s stand on alcohol consumption

Saudi tourism official clarifies country’s stand on alcohol consumption

Princess Haifa Mohammed Al-Saud, the kingdom’s assistant minister of tourism, spoke on the subject at the World Economic Forum in Davos

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Princess Haifa Mohammed Al-Saud, assistant minister of tourism for Saudi Arabia, has clarified the kingdom’s stance when it comes to the consumption of alcohol.

“The short answer is that we are going to continue with our current laws,” said Princess Haifa, while speaking at a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week.

“Saudi Arabia has been very transparent on where it stands with everything. We were very clear.” The possession and consumption of alcohol is currently banned within the kingdom.

“We have been doing very well and we have been competing. We have actually been outperforming globally when it comes to tourism with what we have to offer today,” added Princess Haifa.

The remarks were made during a session titled Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Future Vision. The panel’s participants, apart from Princess Haifa, included Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Saudi’s Minister of Investment; Minister of Finance, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan; Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha; Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim, the Minister of Economy and Planning.

The clarification came after media reports earlier this month suggested that the topic of alcohol consumption was not completely off the table within one of the kingdom’s prominent giga projects. Saudi moved up 10 places to 33rd in the world overall in the 2021 World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Development Index released this week at Davos.

The independent index benchmarked 117 countries on 17 pillars fundamental to the development and resilience of their travel and tourism industries. In 2019, Saudi Arabia launched the National Tourism Strategy, a clear plan to drive forward the aims of Vision 2030.

The strategy aims to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to 10 per cent of GDP, create 1 million new jobs, and attract 100 million local and international visits annually by 2030.

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