Saudi Arabia will feature an Islamic Civilization Village in a bid to promote cultural tourism in the kingdom. The project will be a part of the Rua Al Madinah development in Madinah, which was launched earlier to promote the country as an Islamic destination.

Under development by Rua Al Madinah Holding, the Islamic Civilization Village will span 257,000 square metres and comprise eight geographical zones, including the Arabian Peninsula, Mashriq, the Islamic South Asia, Maghrib, SEAN, the Silk Road, Al Andalus, and Africa, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The project will also feature retail outlets, dining options, interactive shows, and green spaces.

The project also presents opportunities for private sector involvement, offering investment prospects and contributing to job creation for Saudi nationals, the developers added.

Last year, Rua Al Madinah Holding also signed an agreement with global hospitality giant Accor for the operation of luxury hotels totalling more than 1,000 units within the master plan.

The hotels include a 142-key Fairmont, a 120-key Fairmont residence, in addition to a 466-key Swissôtel hotel and a 328-key Novotel, Rua Al Madinah said in a press statement.

Saudi Arabia has been actively developing its tourism sector, with the country’s Minister of Tourism Ahemed bin Aqeel Al Khateeb announcing in October that the kingdom was investing more than $800 billion in the sector through giga-projects such as the Red Sea tourism, Diriyah and Qiddiyah developments, among others.

As a part of the country’s Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is targeting 150 million visitors by 2030.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Brinda Darasha)