The Saudi Red Sea Authority (SRSA), the key enabler and official regulator of coastal tourism in the Red Sea, marked several ambitions during 2023 following the Council of Ministers decision to approve SRSA’s statute, aiming to build a promising coastal tourism sector, by enabling navigational and marine tourism activities, which will contribute to economic diversification in Saudi Arabia.
Seven pioneering regulations, the first of their kind in the Kingdom, were issued and came into effect on November 5. These regulations enable the issuance of necessary licenses and permits to beneficiaries, ensuring an exceptional coastal tourism experience for all visitors to the Red Sea while ensuring safety and sustainability. While the Board of Directors of SRSA approved and implemented its new strategy, comprising six primary objectives and 24 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Meanwhile, SRSA has signed 16 MoUs with both local and international public and private sectors to foster collaborative partnerships. These agreements included two MoUs that has been signed with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Yacht Club de Monaco to expand the strategic partnerships with the relevant entities to incentivize coastal tourism in the Red Sea, as well as an agreement with the CORDAP Foundation, which aims to preserve and protect coral reefs in the Red Sea.
Additionally, SRSA has led national initiatives in partnership with 30 public and private entities through 7 subcommittees. The initiatives aimed to raise the readiness of coastal areas for tourism and activate giga projects. The outcome was a series of successful projects, such as organizing, governing, and installing mooring buoys, waste management systems, weather stations, regulations for marine activities, and improvements in the customer journey through streamlined permit acquisition processes and timeframes.
SRSA collaborated with entities in the environmental ecosystem and stakeholders to oversee environmental protection, including environmental security and mechanisms for the protection of coral reefs. Additionally, it collaborated with 19 government agencies to create the first geographical navigation map of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia.
While SRSA conducted 14 on ground inspections covering Jeddah Governorate, Jazan City, and Al-Laith Governorate. These inspections were part of the process to grant licenses to marina operators and maritime tourism agents, while providing the necessary technical, administrative and advisory support.