Will Saudi Arabia cancel alcohol bans to stimulate tourism?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN)– The Assistant Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, Princess Haifa bint Muhammad Al Saud, responded to a question about the validity of reports that the Kingdom intends to abolish the ban on drinking alcohol on its lands.

Princess Haifa confirmed, in a dialogue session for the Saudi delegation participating in the activities of the Davos Economic Forum, on Wednesday, that her country does not intend to take this step.

This came in response to a question about whether alcohol will be available in the city of NEOM, which is located in the northwest of the Kingdom, within the economic “Vision 2030” supported by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Princess Haifa said, “The Saudis are transparent about their situation… We have heard this even from heads of state, when will we introduce alcohol, in short, we will continue to implement our current laws.”

The Saudi official added that these laws “were good, and we are competitive,” noting that the Kingdom has achieved high performance rates globally.

She explained: “Statistics mentioned that until we exceeded the performance at the level of tourism globally with what is currently available, a lot can be done without introducing any new things.”

Princess Haifa said that the Kingdom is the second country to improve in the tourism sector, adding: “We started with 40 million visits with the launch of the tourism strategy and reached more than 60 million visits in 2021.”

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