Al-Ula's tourism prospects focus of conference
JEDDAH, Feb 11, 2013 (Arab News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The historical and touristic importance of Al-Ula, which houses the Madain Saleh antiquities, will be the focus of an international conference that opens at Taibah University's Al-Ula campus today.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), and Madinah Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman will address the conference, jointly organized by SCTA and Taibah.
The educational event comes as part of SCTA's efforts to develop the historical sites in Al-Ula. Madain Saleh, which has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO, attracts thousands of tourists from within the Kingdom and abroad every year.
The conference aims at highlighting the cultural role of the people of Al-Ula, review appropriate means to preserve its cultural heritage and discuss practical experience and examples of sustainable development in archaeology and tourism, an SCTA official said.
The First Conference of "Archaeology and Tourism in Al-Ula: Challenges and Aspirations" will also focus on Al-Ula Municipality's tourism potential and experience exchange in the fields of archaeology and tourism. It will discuss prospects of enhancing cooperation between the private and public sectors in the field.
The conference's scientific committee has received 180 research papers submitted by specialized researchers in archaeology and tourism originating from 24 countries.
The conference will have four main themes: Al-Ula Antiquities and History, Cultural Heritage Resources Management, Urban Heritage and Tourism Development.
The three-day event will highlight the importance of Madain Saleh as a world heritage site, stress the need to protect and preserve cultural heritage and discuss ways to develop traditional crafts and industries.
The first session titled, "Civilization roles of Wadi Al-Kouraa during the Early Islamic Period," will be chaired by Prof. Mansour Alnozha, president of Taibah. Prof. Ali Alghaban will present a paper on the topic.
Experts will discuss topics such as Al-Ula through Nabatean culture, the rock arts of Al-Ula, cult and rituals of the Kingdom of Lihyan and the political history of south central Arabia in the midst of the first millennium. There will be two workshops on ancient pottery and tourism investment.
On the second day, there will be discussions on topics such as development of cultural tourism in Al-Ula, tourism services in the Kingdom, Al-Ula residents' benefits from tourism and Madain Saleh as a model of Arab cultural heritage.
On Wednesday, papers will be presented on topics such as management of cultural heritage resources, seasonality and tourism event management in Saudi Arabia, and economic employment of handicraft and traditional industries.
In a related development, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Munie and Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, members of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars, yesterday visited the historical sites in Madain Saleh and commended SCTA's efforts to develop the area for tourism purpose.
___ (c)2013 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) Visit the Arab News (Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia) at www.arabnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]