(MENAFN - Arab News) Hamad Alsimaeel, vice president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), has announced that the commission is expecting to welcome visitors to Al-Uqair beach in early 2017.
Alsimaeel said that according to the commission's estimates, Al-Uqair Development Company amassed a total of SR17 billion worth of investments to develop Al-Uqair beach, while general investment in the Al-Uqair area is expected to reach SR34 billion.
"The project is expected to create 37,700 direct job opportunities and another 56,000 indirect and seasonal job opportunities," he said.
Alsimaeel reeled the figures off during a presentation to Al-Ahsaa's Development Counsel, in which he conveyed to the members the latest developments and details regarding the project's progress. He also informed the council about the updates since Al-Uqair Development Company signed the contract to develop the area.
In addition, Alsimaeel presented the counsel with the progress achieved with regard to Al-Uqair's title deeds and the coordination efforts under way with the Ministry of Commerce to submit the necessary paperwork related to the project to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for approval.
The SCTA official said Prince Sultan bin Salman has approved the project and is keen to ensure that the governor of Al-Ahsa, members of the counsel and the community are well-informed of the project and its developments.
Al-Ahsa Mayor Fahad Al-Jubair underscored the municipality's efforts to direct Al-Ahsa's urban center toward the coast of Al-Uqair beach. He also emphasized that the municipality is working in close cooperation and coordination with SCTA to develop the beach through various investment projects.
The government has allocated SR1.4 billion in financial support to begin work on the project's infrastructure, asserted the mayor, adding that SR1 billion will be used to bring electricity to the area and another SR400 million for sewage and water systems.
Al-Jubair said the Al-Uqair development project aims to transform the area into an entertainment and tourism destination, taking into account the unique characteristics of Al-Uqair, including the beach, the oases, the desert terrain and the cultural monuments and antiquities present there.