450 tourist establishments penalized, two hotels shut

An SCTA official pastes a closure notice on the glass front of a hotel in Dammam.

An SCTA official pastes a closure notice on the glass front of a hotel in Dammam.

More than 450 tourist establishments have been penalized for violations over the past two years, said Abdullatif Albenayyan, general manager of the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) in the Eastern Province.

Additionally, 10 furnished apartment buildings and two hotels were closed down.

“Regional hotels are liaising with the SCTA and charity associations to ensure that leftover food does not go waste,” he said during the launching of a new hotel. The launching ceremony was attended by Eastern Province Deputy Gov. Jamal Melhem, Essam Al-Mulla, chairman of the Eastern Province municipality, and representatives from the Asharqia Chamber.

Albenayyan said that the development of the tourist accommodation sector in the Eastern Province has led to the growth of the hotels sector, with 114 facilities registered at the end of 2014.

“According to initial estimations, around 148 licensed hotels would go into service over the next three years,” he said.

Albenayyan said: “Occupancy rates increased from 38 percent in 2005 to 67 percent in 2012 and almost 75 percent in 2014. The number of hotels and furnished apartments has doubled over the past seven years thanks to increased demand by visitors and tourism demand within the province.”

Establishments must meet safety criteria set by the Civil Defense and the municipality before acquiring licenses, he said.

“Then comes SCTA classification benchmarks and requirements, which will be dealt with online. The ranking of hotels without garage parking is bound to be affected,” he said.


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