Women in Saudi Arabia will be given the right to vote and to run in municipal elections, according to reports.
The Gulf Kingdom’s King Abdullah revealed that the changes, which will take effect from next year, will also enable women to be appointed to the Shura council
He revealed that women would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura Council.
This major announcement was made during the opening of the new term of the Shura Council.
With major tourism developments underway, Saudi Arabia has become an increasingly popular tourism hotspot and this move is likely to prove a great draw for visitors to the region and could build ties between Western and Islamic communities.
Saudi’s religious tourism sector alone generated more than $7 billion in 2009 and registered 12 million visitors to pilgrimage sites. It is expected to attract 15 million visitors in 2013, said a report by Alpen Capital on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hospitality industry.
Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah is one property which has witnessed significant growth.
“Saudi Arabia has chalked out a development plan involving investment of almost Dh98 billion ($26.68 billion) to transform Makkah into a city with world-class infrastructure,” said Omar Boujlid, general manager of the property.
“With the large-scale tourism development underway, the Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah is well-equipped to cater to the growing number of pilgrims to the city. This year, we also plan is to implement marketing initiatives to further increase awareness in untapped markets in the African continent across Tunisia and Algeria.”
Earlier this year HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Tala was awarded the title of ‘Middle East’s Leading Travel Personality’ at the World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony 2011, held at the Armani Hotel Dubai.
Globally renowned and respected, HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Tala owns stakes in Fairmont Hotels, Four Seasons, New York’s Plaza Hotel, the London Savoy, Monte Carlo
Grand Hotel and Euro Disney. He is also backing what will become the tallest building in the world, the mile-high Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia.
(His Royal Highness Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud was recipient of the top award, collected on his behalf by his Private Secretary, Dr Nahla Alanbar, pictured here with Graham Cooke, President & Founder, World Travel Awards)
HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Tala stands out as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists, particularly in his funding of educational initiatives to build ties between Western and Islamic communities.