SCTA licenses 4,762 hospitality facilities


The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) recently revealed in a report a significant increase in licenses for tourism accommodation in 2014 in 16 regions, with a total amount of 4,762 licensed hotels and furnished apartments.

The tourism accommodation report stated that the number of hotels classified up till November 2014, were 797 and 2,247 apartments, with the licenses still being distributed this month for others. Most of the licensed hotels are in Makkah, with 340 facilities, Madinah, with 172, and Riyadh, with 92.

The report stated the furnished housing units in the Kingdom were mostly located in Riyadh, Asir and the Eastern Province. According to the SCTA’s document, the number of tour organizers at the end of November reached 453, most of which were working through 672 travel agents and 1,763 offices in the country.

A survey conducted by a local newspaper found a big gap between the prices of a five-star hotel room in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. “The cost of a single room at the Jeddah Sheraton is SR1,265, while the cost of the room at the same hotel in Dubai is SR919,” the survey claimed.

Muhammad Al-Omari, executive director of the SCTA in Makkah, confirmed that the commission detected over 4,000 irregularities in hotel prices in Jeddah.

“The commission has issued binding directions to all hospitality facilities that they should clearly and visibly announce their prices, otherwise they will be subjected to fines and penalties,” Al-Omari told Arab News.

He added that field teams are making inspection rounds to ensure that all those involved with the hospitality sector comply with the regulations, emphasizing that any offending facility will be given the chance to improve its services.


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