Saudi Arabia approves new authority for the Red Sea amid more steps to develop and protect it

The Saudi cabinet approved the establishment of a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea

  
A diver swims above a coral reef in the Red Sea offshore of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) near the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, December 17, 2019.

A diver swims above a coral reef in the Red Sea offshore of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) near the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, December 17, 2019.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is taking more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea, which the Kingdom deems to be a big contributor to the growth of its tourism industry. 

The Saudi Cabinet approved on Tuesday the establishment of a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea, as well as organizational preparation work for a new authority in the area, according to the cabinet's weekly statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.

The new authority will be chaired by Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, and it includes the ministers of sport and culture as well as CEOs of NEOM and The Red Sea Development Co.

The authority will be responsible for organizing recreational activities, tours of cruise ships and yachts and build mechanisms to protect the coastal environment. 

“The Red Sea’s natural environment is one of our greatest assets,” said Al-Khateeb. 

“This (authority) will support our ambitious plans for tourism development, generate new job opportunities for Saudi citizens, and help us to attract international and domestic tourists,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

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