Travel agencies in category D can now issue visas
for tourists and for educational or medical treatment purposes inside and
outside the Kingdom.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National
Heritage (SCTH) in Jeddah has issued the first license allowing a travel agency
in category D to issue such visas, according to Sabq online newspaper.
Now all four categories of licensed travel agencies
in Jeddah (A, B, C and D) can provide a variety of services including the sale,
purchase and issuance of travel tickets inside and outside the Kingdom through
various means of transport, and to market tourist trips provided by the tour
organizers in addition to handling tourist and educational visas.
The director general of SCTH in Makkah region,
Mohammed Abdullah Al-Amri, said the travel and tourism sector was suffering
from power overlapping before being affiliated to the SCTH and constituted an
obstacle for initiatives.
Then came the clear-cut directives from SCTH
President Prince Sultan bin Salman to restructure the tourism sector along
scientific lines, he said.
Restoration of historic mosques
A program for restoring and reviving 34 historic
mosques in the area of Al-Diriya has been recently launched, according to the
The program is being implemented by SCTH, the
Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, the High Commission for the
Development of Arriyadh and Al-Turath Foundation.
The SCTH chief pointed out that the restoration
program seeks to revive historic mosques and their role in society and to shed
light on their history. He stressed that the revival of these historic mosques
not only includes restoring urban heritage, but also reviving the buildings,
which were built and cared for by Saudi Arabia’s kings, reported Al-Hayat
newspaper on Monday.
Prince Sultan bin Salman has also launched projects
for restoring 10 historic mosques in Al-Qassim as part of the program for
reviving the buildings with the participation of the local community.
Moreover, three architectural offices volunteered to
prepare plans for restoring and rehabilitating 13 historic mosques in the
region, bringing the total number of historic mosques restored since the launch
of the program to 79, including the 100-year-old Al-Maarik Mosque in Buraidah,
in which King Saud had prayed. – AN