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Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

6

By increasing the capacity and by improving the quality of the services offered to Umrah visitors, we will, by 2020, make it possible for over 15 million Muslims per year to perform Umrah and be completely satisfied with their pilgrimage experience. We will achieve this by improving visa application procedures which will smooth the visa process with the aim of full automation. We will also further integrate e-services into the pilgrims’ journey, which will enrich the religious and cultural experience. Both the public and private sectors will play a crucial role in this project as we work to upgrade accommodation, improve hospitality and launch new services for pilgrims. • Establishing the largest Islamic museum in the world. We have always taken — and will continue to take — great pride in our heritage. Mohammad, the Last of Prophets, Peace Be Upon Him, was from Makkah, the birthplace of Islam. Medina is where the first Islamic society was born. We will build an Islamic museum in accordance with the highest global standards, equipped with the latest methods in collection, preservation, presentation and documentation. It will be a major landmark for our citizens and visitors, where they will learn about the history of Islam, enjoy interactive experiences and participate in cultural events. Using modern technology, visitors to the museum will take an immersive journey through the different ages of Islamic civilization, as well as its science, scholars and culture. It will also be an international hub for erudition and include a world-class library and research center. • Doubling the number of Saudi heritage sites registered with UNESCO. • Promoting the growth of cultural and entertainment opportunities within the Kingdom. Vision 2030 is not a tactical quick-win for Saudi Arabia to boost its economy in the short-term; it goes beyond the question of oil. It is an ambitious long-term strategy that is set to bring about important lasting change to our country and a positive future for the population. Culture and entertainment are indispensable to a high quality of life. We shall acknowledge that the cultural opportunities currently available in the kingdom do not reflect the rising aspirations of our citizens and residents. To reflect this aspiration, government funds and partnerships with local and international investors will be harnessed to make land available for cultural and entertainment projects, and talented writers, authors and directors will be better supported. Ultimately, this too will also contribute to our economy and will result in the creation of many job opportunities. To ensure that the richness of Saudi history and culture is recognized, we aim to double the number of Saudi heritage sites registered with UNESCO — process has already begun with the recognition by UNESCO of ancient rock art in the Hail region. Most recently, the Kingdom has allocated around €0.9 billion to preserving its cultural heritage and is investing in tourism, aiming to increase spending by Saudis at home. • Encouraging healthy lifestyles so that the number of citizens who exercise once a week increases from 13 to 40 percent. A healthy nation needs a healthy population and so the Saudi government has committed to encouraging healthier lifestyles so that the number of citizens who exercise once a week increases from 13 to 40 percent, through widespread and regular participation in sports and athletic activities, working in partnership with the private sector to establish additional dedicated facilities and programs. 7

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