Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is currently planning to further develop the Kingdom’s significant religious sites. They are also proposing plans to revitalize the under-developed rural areas in the city of Makkah. The initiative was part of an elaborate plan to establish a sustainable environment of Makkah, which will then boost the quality of life of Makkah citizen and increase the quality of services for pilgrims across the world coming to Makkah.
According to the statistics released by the Saudi government, over 7.5 million Umrah visas have been issued this year and more visas are expected to be issued by the end of the year. During June, it is recorded that there are more than 700.000 visitors currently stay in the city of Makkah. Saudi government should put efforts in maintaining as well as improving services for the ever growing number of visitors coming to the kingdom, understanding that pilgrimage industry is one of the strongest Saudi’s GDP inputs.
The development of Holy Sites and Makkah City will be undertaken by the state-owned company that are approved by the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites (RCMC)’s Board of Directors. The company will be solely owned by RCMC as a closed joint stock firm and it will be based in Makkah. This specific company will act as the developer and also the operator for increasing the capacity of Holy Sites in the coming year, in order to facilitate the rising number of Umrah and Hajj pilgrims.
The Board of Directors for RCMC in the same opportunity also delivered the strategic direction for the development of Holy Sites and Holy City of Makkah. The board, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, has reviewed proposals of several future projects that will be implemented in the holy city. Those proposals set out plans for operation and project management of roads and transport sectors around holy sites and Makkah, establishment of a special funding for the city of Makkah, and governance of Grand Mosque in Makkah.
RCMC was established in June 2019 by a Royal Decree and held the main responsibility of improving Umrah and Hajj ecosystems to create an attractive spiritual environment for pilgrims and visitors around the globe in order to strengthen Holy Sites and Makkah’s status as a global destination for spiritual pilgrimage. Besides that, RCMC has a responsibility to establish a suitable business environment to encourage investments for Holy Sites and Makkah city. RCMC plans to make Makkah city as one of the world’s most attractive cities to live in as well as an attractive destination for investors.
The RCMC contributes to the implementation of Saudi’s strategic plan called Saudi Vision 2030. Saudi Vision 2030 sets out plan to diversify Saudi’s economy that are highly dependent towards the oil industry. By building a prosperous economy and vibrant society for Makkah city, RCMC helps to develop and enhance the tourism as well as financial sector for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.