Contrary to an earlier (unofficial) statement Saudi Arabia has no plans to legalise alcohol — either at futuristic megacity NEOM or in a bid to draw more visitors, assistant minister of tourism Princess Haifa bint Mohammed said on Wednesday. The princess was asked, in a panel session about Saudi Arabia at the World Economic Forum, on the possibility of offering alcohol in new destination such as NEOM.
Princess Haifa said the kingdom has been “doing well” in attracting visitors since launching tourism e-visas in 2019 and that rules would remain “the same”.
“Saudi Arabia has been very transparent on where it stands on everything, we were very clear and we even heard it from our head of state on where we stand on serving alcohol”.
She insisted that the ban on alcohol had not affected tourism.
“We have been out outperforming globally in tourism with what we currently have to offer today.”
Saudi Arabia rose 10 places in the WEF’s 2021 Travel and Tourism Development Index, which measures sustainable and resilient development of the sector, and was released this week at the Davos summit.
Earlier article regarding the same subject