Saudi old palaces transformed to traditional hotels


SAUDI – A specialized team from the SCTA, in conjunction with King Abdul-Aziz Foundation, paid a visit to Baradors Hotels in Spain and Bosadas in Portugal to examine their experiments in preserving the archeological palaces and transforming them into distinguished traditional hotels.

The team head, Dr. Salah Al-Bukayyet, the Deputy Secretary General for investment, confirmed that the visit was successful and achieved the desired results. Dr. Al-Bukayyet clarified that the two experiments are among the best international experiments of traditional hotels. He also stated that both Baradors and Bosadas Hotels have distinguished factors since the government plays a role as a strategic main stakeholder and because of the surrounding environment, design, authentic architecture, and the combination of local services and hospitality.

During the visit that lasted for six days, the team met with the Tourism Ministry’s officials in the two countries and with the traditional hotel operators.

The SCTA, in cooperation with an international consulting office, has prepared a feasibility study on the establishment of a traditional hotel system to operate traditional palaces and buildings, which are owned by the KSA, to be transformed into tourism accommodations. That would be accomplished by the private sector’s participation with making such hotels an economic resource, a source of job opportunities, and a place of various tourism activities.

The appointed consulting work team implemented this project about three months ago and paid field visits to examine the targeted traditional buildings of the KSA. The feasibility study was reviewed by a team from the World Bank and a number of locally-experienced companies. The study will be presented to the responsible authorities to approve the establishment of a company to use traditional buildings as tourism accommodations in the KSA.

It is worth mentioning that the KSA and Spain signed on 22/5/1429H a program of tourism cooperation aiming at strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the two countries in tourism and the antiquities field.