Tourism will be a key pillar for the future of Saudi Arabia according to Aiman AlMudaifer, head of local real estate investments with the Public Investment Fund.
The sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia is among the largest in the world, with total estimated assets of $320 billion.
It was founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia.
The body is a cornerstone of Vision 2030, a wide-ranging scheme to diversify the country away from oil and toward a range of sectors.
AlMudaifer explained: “Tourism is at the core of the Public Investment Fund programme.
“Saudi Arabia is rich with its location, culture and people, and our ambition is to bring these assets to the table to create a new destination.”
He added: “The Public Investment Fund is a long-term investment, so we are positive about the current crisis, in terms of Covid-19.
“Vision 2030 is ambitious, but we have what it takes to deliver this programme.
“We are facing the challenges together, along with the rest of the world, and we will overcome them.”
AlMudaifer spoke to Bench Events founder Jonathan Worsley earlier
Saudi Arabia recently raised its value added tax from five to 15 per cent as the country seeks to overcome a sharp fall in the price of oil.
However, authorities have said the measure is temporary, with a long-term recovery expected.
Addressing an industry audience during the Bench Events-organised Hospitality Tomorrow show, AlMudaifer concluded: “We are looking for new opportunities and partnerships, with our partners in the tourism sphere.”
Powered by Bench Events, Hospitality Tomorrow was launched to support the hard-hit international hotel community during Covid-19, by offering a virtual conference platform that provides knowledge, facilitates information sharing and connects the industry.