Two new museums to be established in Makkah and Madinah

April 25, 2008

The Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT) has announced plans to establish an Islamic heritage museum in Makkah and a Qur’an museum in Madinah in cooperation with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Arab News reported today.

The project is geared towards the nearly 10 million foreign pilgrims who visit Saudi Arabia every year to perform the Hajj and Umrah.

The two museums are just the beginning, SCT Secretary-General Prince Sultan bin Salman told the Arab News. “We’ll establish six new museums in different regions this year and renovate 12 others,” he said.

Prince Sultan also revealed plans to establish a large museum in Jeddah, which attracts more than two million tourists and visitors each year. It will be located at Khozam Palace, and will be similar to the National Museum in Riyadh.

The new museums are part of five-year strategy on the part of SCT to develop antiquities and museums across the country.

The Kingdom’s heritage and museum sector is expected to witness tremendous development in the coming years with the issuance of a new law regulating its activities, Prince Sultan said.

Prince Sultan also discussed excavations in association with foreign geological missions in various parts of Saudi Arabia. A German team is currently conducting digging works in Taima with the support of Saudi teams.

The SCT has started a new program to promote tourist villages in five regions of the country. It also plans to build a series of heritage hotels making use of heritage palaces and historical sites in various parts of Saudi Arabia.

The SCT is also reviewing offers made by developers to implement the Al-Oqair tourism project in Al-Ahsa, which is expected to become one of the major tourist centers in the Kingdom. In addition, it plans to establish another major tourist destination on the Red Sea in the next few months.