In the last few days of January 2017, US President Donald Trump publicly issued an executive order that effectively isolated seven predominantly Muslim countries, namely: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan. This decision has incurred the disfavor of half the population of the United States as well as criticism from concerned world leaders outside the country.
The current assertion among the many anti-Trump critics is that the president is blatantly encouraging discrimination against all Muslims. Contrary to most theories that explain how Saudi Arabia was spared from the heinous so-called 'Muslim ban', a report by published by Express Co. explains the objective military strategy that predicates the travel ban on the aforementioned Muslim countries other than Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia serves as a shining example of 'a huge wrench thrown in the Muslim discrimination narrative' perpetuated by the mass media in light of the recent events slowly unfolding from Donald Trump's executive order. Within its own territory, several socio-economic changes are also unfolding and preparing the nation to become a tourism powerhouse in the Middle East.
Contrary to Popular Media
According to the article published by Trade Arabia, the second greatest contributor to Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product (GDP) is tourism. As of 2015, it has generated a total of over US $50 billion in tourism-based income alone. In the same year, Saudi Arabia's tourism and travel have also drawn a total capital investment worth US $6.96 billion.
Economists have predicted that as of 2026, Saudi Arabia's tourism investment will have increased a total of 14.3 percent. Inclusive of this prediction are near future initiatives that are geared towards further improving the positive change of the tourism landscape of the country.
Gift To The Next Generation
As of 2018, religious tourists visiting Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to the Holy City would expect the completion of the Haramain High-Speed Railway in 2018. This infrastructure is aimed at providing a high-tech streamlined direct route between Mecca and Medina. Another airport in Jedda will also be added in the same year.
Among the main reasons why experts foresee more people visiting Saudi Arabia has a lot to do with the glaring demographic reality. 57 percent of Saudi nationals are young adults. This generation is even more determined to transform the controversial image of the country