Saudi tourism official rules out changes to current laws on alcohol

“We are going to continue with our current laws,” Assistant Minister of Tourism Princess Haifa Bint Mohammed told a panel at the World Economic Forum…

Saudi Arabia will not change the current laws on drinking alcohol, a senior tourism official reaffirmed this week. Speaking at a panel about Saudi Arabia at the World Economic Forum, Assistant Minister of Tourism Princess Haifa Bint Mohammed said that “the short answer is that we’re going to continue with our current laws.”

In a clip posted by The Saudi Gazette, Princess Haifa went on to say that the country has been doing “very well” as a tourism destination, and that “We [Saudi Arabia] have been outperforming globally when it comes to tourism with what we currently have to offer today.” The senior tourism official was responding to a question posed about whether destinations such as NEOM would explore the possibility of serving alcohol.


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Princess Haifa was speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, which is taking place in Davos, Switzerland, this week.

During the WEF annual meeting, the 2021 World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) was also published. It saw Saudi Arabia climb 10 places from 43 in 2019 to 33 in 2021, the second highest improvement in ranking across the report. The TTDI benchmarks and measures 117 countries on 17 factors and policies that “enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country.”

In the MENA region, Saudi Arabia now only ranks behind the UAE, which climbed one place to 25 in the index.

Image: Getty