The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), recently signed contracts worth 145 million Saudi riyals, to establish 4 new provincial museums in Saudi Arabia in Baha, Tabuk, Hail, and Dammam. The four museums are scheduled to be established over a period of two years.
The signing ceremony was held at the headquarters of King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh with representatives of four companies that will be executing the establishment of museums nationwide in attendance.
His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, president of SCTA, in a press statement, stressed on the important role of museums in introducing the history of the country, as well as its rich antiquities, reflecting the historical dimension of Saudi Arabia.
Prince Sultan indicated that SCTA is currently carrying out a comprehensive development and rehabilitation program at the national museums, which will herald new shifts on many levels such the approach of receiving visitors, collaborating with schools, or opening them for cultural events to rise the intellectual role of tourism in society.
In addition to these four provincial museums, seven other museums will be established throughout the kingdom. SCTA is working to establish two specialized museums – a museum for Islamic and National Heritage in Jeddah city and a museum of Holy Qur’an in Al Madina, which will be executed in collaboration with the Ministry for Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawa, and Guidance, SCTA and Al Madina Amara.
Moreover, SCTA has licensed 40 private museums to be established according to the latest approaches and technologies in this field, in an effort to showcase and expose its heritage and antiquities to the entire world. Prince Sultan commented that the kingdom’s antiquities which are currently discovered and displayed are not even 5 percent of the real stock of the undiscovered antiquities. Therefore, the new series of museums and heritage buildings, which include a chain of private museums, is an indication to a strong start for raising museum culture in society and giving greater attention by the SCTA to raise the level of interaction between citizens and museums.
Dr. Ali bin Ibrahim Al Ghabban, vice president of SCTA, said that these museums will form civilizational, milestones, and a witness to the heritage of each province, displaying local historical items and architectural trends of each province, as well as showcasing provincial antiquities.
On the other hand, SCTA, singed last Monday, a 30 million Saudi riyals construction contract to establish a Asir local museum in Abha city under the auspices of Amir of Asir, HRH Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz in the presence of HRH president of SCTA, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and will be implemented in two years.