Saudi Arabia launched a company in order to establish the cruise sector in the country as well as to generate 50,000+ jobs in the tourism industry.
Saudi Cruise, launched by the PIF (Public Investment Fund), will work on putting the Kingdom on the international cruise map as a new tourist destination, in line with the goals of the reform plan Vision 2030.
The company will develop routes allowing people to explore the heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia in a way that protects natural resources and preserves the environment.
According to the 27-year-old public relations employee in Jeddah, Layal Abdullah, the employment rates had decreased due to the pandemic.
“The fact that the Kingdom is working toward empowering a whole new sector, while also working toward raising employment rates, is encouraging.”
Abdullah added she expected cruises to be "a hit with locals and visitors alike."
Others are concerned about cruise prices being out of reach and do not believe many locals would be interested just due to the fact that they could not afford it.
The launch of the new Jeddah-based company is in line with the 2021-2025 strategy of PIF, which focuses on unlocking the potential of the Kingdom in the non-oil sectors. The fund and its subsidiaries aim to contribute to the GPD with SAR 1,2 trillion (USD 320B / EUR 265B) via non-oil revenue by the end of 2025.
It also aims to make the most of Saudi Arabia’s tourist attractions, historical, and cultural heritage, beginning with UNESCO and geographical sites that showcase the mountainous or marine environment of the country.
In August 2020, Red Sea Spirit launched its first recreational voyage in Saudi Arabia, with itineraries visiting Magna, Yanbu, Ras Abyadh and Neom (cross-border city in Tabuk Province).