We have enormous untapped opportunities and a rich blend of natural resources, but our real wealth lies in our people and our society. We take pride in what makes our nation exceptional: our Islamic faith and our national unity. Our nation is the core of the Arab and Islamic worlds and represents the heart of Islam. We are confident that, God willing, we will build a brighter future, one based on the bedrock of Islamic principles. We will continue to excel in performing our duties towards pilgrims to the fullest and promote our deep-rooted national identity.
Islam and its teachings are our way of life. They are the basis of all our laws, decisions, actions and goals. Following Islam’s guidance on the values of hard-work, dedication, and excellence, Prophet Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him, said: “That Allah loves us to master our work”. Therefore, the principles of Islam will be the driving force for us to realize our Vision. The values of moderation, tolerance, excellence, discipline, equity, and transparency will be the bedrock of our success.
Saudi Arabia has assumed a prominent place in the world and has become synonymous with hospitality and a warm welcome to all Muslims. As such, it has carved a special place in the hearts of pilgrims and the faithful everywhere. We have been given the privilege to serve the Two Holy Mosques, the pilgrims and all visitors to the blessed holy sites. In the last decade, the number of Umrah visitors entering the country from abroad has tripled, reaching 8 million people. This is a noble responsibility. It requires us to spare no effort in seeking to offer pilgrims with all they need so we fulfil our duty to provide good hospitality to our brothers and sisters. In this context, we have recently begun a third expansion to the Two Holy Mosques, as well as modernizing and increasing the capacities of our airports. We have launched the Makkah Metro project to complement the railroad and train projects that will serve visitors to the Holy Mosques and holy sites. We have reinforced the network of our transport system to facilitate access and help pilgrims perform their visits with greater ease and convenience. At the same time, we will enrich pilgrims’ spiritual journeys and cultural experiences while in the Kingdom. We will establish more museums, prepare new tourist and historical sites and cultural venues, and improve the pilgrimage experience within the Kingdom.
We take immense pride in the historical and cultural legacy of our Saudi, Arab, and Islamic heritage. Our land was, and continues to be, known for its ancient civilizations and trade routes at the crossroads of global trade. This heritage has given our society the cultural richness and diversity it is known for today. We recognize the importance of preserving this sophisticated heritage in order to promote national unity and consolidate true Islamic and Arab values. We will endeavor to strengthen, preserve and highlight our national identity so that it can guide the lives of future generations. We will do so by keeping true to our national values and principles, as well as by encouraging social development and upholding the Arabic language. We will continue to work on the restoration of national, Arab, Islamic and ancient cultural sites and strive to have them registered internationally to make them accessible to everyone and, in the process, create cultural events and build world-class museums which will attract visitors from near and far. This will create a living witness to our ancient heritage, showcasing our prominent place in history and on the map of civilizations.
We are honored to attend to pilgrims and Umrah visitors’ needs, fulfilling a role bestowed on us by Allah. Our expansion of the Two Holy Mosques has led to a tripling in the number of foreign Umrah visitors over the last decade, reaching eight million in 2015. By increasing the capacity and by improving the quality of the services offered to Umrah visitors, we will, by 2020, make it possible for over 15 million Muslims per year to perform Umrah and be completely satisfied with their pilgrimage experience. We will achieve this by improving visa application procedures which will smooth the visa process with the aim of full automation. We will also further integrate e-services into the pilgrims’ journey, which will enrich the religious and cultural experience. Both the public and private sectors will play a crucial role in this project as we work to upgrade accommodation, improve hospitality and launch new services for pilgrims.The largest Islamic museum
We have always taken – and will continue to take – great pride in our heritage. Mohammad, the Last of Prophets, Peace Be Upon Him, was from Makkah, the birthplace of Islam. Medina is where the first Islamic society was born. We will build an Islamic museum in accordance with the highest global standards, equipped with the latest methods in collection, preservation, presentation and documentation. It will be a major landmark for our citizens and visitors, where they will learn about the history of Islam, enjoy interactive experiences and participate in cultural events. Using modern technology, visitors to the museum will take an immersive journey through the different ages of Islamic civilization, as well as its science, scholars and culture. It will also be an international hub for erudition and include a world-class library and research center.
To increase our capacity to welcome Umrah visitors from 8 million to 30 million every year
To more than double the number of Saudi heritage sites registered with UNESCO