(Madinah Al-Munawwarah-News Halal) The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen stressed that Madinah Al-Munawwarah has the potentials to become a regional hub for heritage and eco-tourism, considering its peculiar ecological attractions, historical landmarks and opportunities for desert safari.
This was contained in his statement on the occasion of the inauguration of Madinah Al-Munawwarah as the capital of Islamic Tourism 2017 on Saturday 18 February 2017 under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, President & Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and was attended by His Royal Highness, Prince Faisal Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Medina province and head of Tourism Development in the province.
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has organised flurry of activities to celebrate Madinah as the capital of Islamic Tourism 2017 in addition to commissioning about 30 projects designed for the occasion among them launching of a tourist bus service to transport tourist across the historical sites of Madinah Al-Munawwarah in addition to commissioning a railway project and the launch of a program to preserve, restore and rehabilitate the historic mosques contained in Madinah Al-Munawwarah.
The OIC Secretary General felicitated with the Government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the decision of the OIC to grant Madinah Al-Munawwarah the award of capital of Islamic Tourism for the year 2017, stressing that the granting of the third edition of the award to Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah is indeed a clear testimony to the importance of the holy city in the realm of heritage and eco-tourism, in addition to its character as a preferred destination for Muslim pilgrims.
Al-Othaimeen also noted that the objective of establishing the award is to bring to the fore the growing importance of tourism in the cooperation framework of the Organisation, highlighting the OIC’s strategy for scaling up Islamic tourism through the development of tourism infrastructures, new investments in family-friendly hotels and leisure facilities.
It is worth noting that Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah was selected the ‘Capital of Islamic Tourism 2017’ during the 9th Session of Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) held in December 2015 in Niamey, Niger, and was confirmed by the 43rd Session of the council of Foreign Ministers Of the Organization held at Tashkent, the Republic of Uzbekistan in October 2016.